Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Encouraging openness at Intuit

Yesterday, Intuit (the company that brings you such well-known software products as Quicken, TurboTax, and QuickBooks) announced the launch of, their new open source community for "developers interested in creating connected online applications for small businesses". While the company isn't opening up any of its own software right now, the goal of the new community is to rally folks around its Intuit Partner Platform. I can't boast any experience with this platform, but from what I've read and seen about its various key components, it looks pretty slick!

You might be wondering why — given my lack of personal experience with these products and platforms — I'm writing about this at all. What's the connection between and me? Two words: "open source". The Intuit folks were discerning enough to recognize that while they wanted to create and nurture a true, viable open source community, this was a new venture for them. So they've assembled an advisory board consisting of open source veterans to help guide them as they develop their new community. I am a grateful recipient of the invitation to participate (along with Jay Sullivan of Mozilla, Michael Coté of Redmonk, and Jason van Zyl of Apache Maven) on that initial advisory board.

I'm really looking forward to being a part of this, not so much for what I can bring to the table but for what I can learn from the others in the process. It will be interesting for me to see how the experiences I've had with the Subversion and other open source software projects — and even with my employer's own community site — will apply here. One thing's for sure: I definitely need to re-read Karl Fogel's Producing Open Source Software book!

For more information, read the full Intuit public announcement at

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