According to the Linux Foundation’s 2014 Collaborative Development Trends Report, the benefits of using open source software are now well established. The managers surveyed cited shorter product development cycles and faster time to market (77 percent); reduced engineering and development costs (66 percent); and better relationships with customers and business partners (55 percent), among many other advantages.
As the nonprofit consortium behind Linux, the largest open source project in the history of computing, The Linux Foundation has a deep knowledge of the open source development process, its culture and business applications. Founded in 2000, The Linux Foundation supports its member companies through every step of open source involvement, helping them to navigate the world of open source communities, and enabling them to begin using open source software, contribute code to the projects, influence their technical direction and finally to initiate their own projects. This paper provides an overview of that process as well as seven best practices, gleaned from years of collaboration with open source leaders, that will help companies proceed along the path to open source mastery.