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December 27, 2004

Lawyers as part of your engineering team

Dan Bricklin on open source based development and legal processes getting increasingly overlapped:

You can't put your head in the sand and say "we won't use Open Source." The question for developers is not just how to be involved in an Open Source development project, but also how do you be a part of a normal, for-profit business and deal with the Open Source issues. You have to learn that your lawyer is your friend, that the lawyer is a part of the development team the same way that the Quality Assurance person or the Usability person is part of the team. The same way your compiler gives you warning messages about syntax, you are going to get warning messages from your lawyer and you are going to need to say "let us figure out together how to interface these two products without violating the licenses". This is a new part of development and developers need to be trained about this.

This is a new reality and not many companies realize this. You will see many more deals falling apart,  more inefficiency during the component selection and product launch delays due to this yawning gap between engineers (who spent their nights hanging out on sourceforge) and product manager's understanding of open source licensing.

We at Apptility are going to focus on solving this problem. Team has come up with a quick  version of open source license browser which will be deployed on apptility.net very shortly.

December 27, 2004 in Open source | Permalink

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