What is innersource?

Open source practices for your internal software engineering organization.

Bring open source practices to organizations internally

These days, open source work asynchronously, remotely, globally, and openly—and modern engineering practices within your organization don’t have to be any different.

Streamline your development workflow

Companies are focused on consolidating, and doing more with less. That includes creating an environment where processes are streamlined and teams feel empowered.

Create a better developer experience.

By enabling a collaborative community, innersource creates a better developer experience, where devs can harness their collective knowledge, innovate, and do their best work.

More and more organizations recognize the potential for InnerSource to break down silos, enable code reuse, and accelerate innovation.
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State of InnerSource 2021InnerSource Commons

Why innersource?

Increase visibility

All internal software projects are visible to all employees—by default.

Collaborate (more)

Bugs and feature requests can be raised by any employee.

Test, test, test

Every proposed change is automatically tested and the result is shown in the pull request. 

Fork and branch when you want

Anyone can make a copy of a project and make changes freely. 

Automate manual tasks

Save time with issue triage, cutting releases, version bumping, and writing release notes.

Accelerate pull requests

People outside a project team can suggest changes and contribute to the project.

How top companies are using innersource today


3M uses GitHub to drive innersource initiatives, eliminate duplicative efforts, tap the organization’s collective knowledge, and collaborate across teams to improve software.

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Otto Group

With GitHub as a technological framework, Otto Group has been able to sustainably advance the innersource processes that 18 group companies are already involved with.

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Societe Generale

To move faster, they realized they needed to embrace two things: Innersource and self-service. That’s where GitHub came in.

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How to get started

Like any cultural transformation, adopting innersource practices is a journey. To succeed, start as an experiment, define your success criteria, review, iterate, and improve.

Set clear standards to follow

Automate acceptance criteria. This includes passing builds, successful unit tests, code coverage, and security scans.

Pull request showing all tests passing
Button to make a contribution to a coding project

Help others succeed

Innersource isn’t just about receiving more contributions to your project. By making your code available, another team could reuse your work— rather than having to reinvent the wheel.

Stay open, by default

Set the default repository visibility to internal at the enterprise level, so that employees across the organization can access new repositories by default.

Repository settings set to grant security access to internal contributors.

Reward collaboration

Celebrate and recognize achievements. This could be praise, added bonus points in a review cycle, or form part of expected responsibilities for more senior members of the engineering team. 

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Be patient

Given the cultural change needed when embarking on an innersource journey, patience is needed. This is not a quick process. The InnerSource Commons demonstrate the maturity model pattern to help you recognize where you are on your journey.

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Encourage cooperation

Ready to contribute to a project, but have no idea where to start? The InnerSource Commons discuss the innersource portal pattern, as well as the repository activity score pattern.

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Learn, share, and grow with other innersource communities

A checklist and guide to get your repository collaboration-ready

In the world of software development, collaboration can make the difference between a brittle last-minute release and a reliable, maintainable, pain-free project.

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Securing and delivering high-quality code with innersource metrics

With innersource, it’s important to measure both the amount of innersource activity and the quality of the code being created.

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How to measure innersource across your organization

The innersource contribution percentage is the rate of contributions from people outside the team that originally authored the software. 

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Get involved

Head over to the InnerSource Commons community page for ways that you can get involved. This includes saying hello over slack, joining a working group to produce new learning resources on innersource, and more.

Check out the InnerSource Commons community