Open source, or inner source as it’s called when used within a company, is gaining ground at Scania and more and more people appreciate the advantage of transparency.
A service that enables this transparency is GitHub, a web-based service enabling developers to – so to speak – store their code in the open. The major advantage with this service is that it changes people’s behaviour, it is not actually the GitHub portal itself. That is, when we dare to share, dare to put our work on display and we have the intention to help instead of pointing out flaws in the work of others. The code can easily be downloaded in its entirety and you can then leave and implement suggestions on improvements or new uses all while the creators of the code can choose if they want to accept the change.
One team at Scania IT using GitHub in their daily work is one of the teams within Services Delivery IT.
“To us, GitHub is a cooperation platform with possibilities to tweak things based on your personal and professional needs”, says Martin Blomster, Java developer. GitHub offers improved possibilities to develop code in parallel. The result is that you always can deliver something, even though some of the work fails the testing. And continuous deliveries with a decreased risk is of significant value to Scania. GitHub also decreases the dependency on certain individuals.
“If for example one developer has to leave the office unplanned, it is simple to just check in the code in a branch and someone else can continue where the colleague ended without risking the work of others”, explains Rikard Visuri, software architect at Services Delivery IT.
“GitHub is the tool that developers – hobby or professional – know about, even though there are other competing tools”, says Rikard. “This makes it easy to introduce from the beginning. Actually, the competence was even here before the tool so it also simplifies the process when new co-workers quickly have to get into the work”.
The sharing possibilities are not just limited to code. You can also share such things as training and presentations in GitHub and ask questions, get feedback and help others to improve their material. GitHub was first used as a cloud service by enthusiasts at Scania who are passionate about this new way of working. A later beta test with an internal Scania installation has now been finalized and it is clear that GitHub fits more than well into the ways of working at Scania IT.