Lessons in Open Project Management


NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) developed the F´ flight software framework to reduce the effort in developing spacecraft control software. Since its release as open-source software in 2017, F´ has found its way into the hands of University CubeSat teams, space enthusiasts, electronics hobbyists, and aerospace corporations. In addition, F´ still supports the core NASA customers for whom it was developed. As this community has grown, the F´ team has struggled to manage the framework in a way that both meets the goals of core NASA customers and remains open for the community. The F´ team has balanced between core customer and community needs in areas including: usability, contribution quality, and driving requirements. Striking this balance is the art of open project management. In this talk, we will discuss open project management through the lens of F´ successes and failures. Starting with an understanding of the goals a project has for moving to open source, we’ll analyze the paths a project can take to reaching an open management structure. Then we’ll cover open management practices, common problems and solutions, and the dilemma of community engagement. Finally, this talk will close with a look toward potential future challenges. Attendees will leave with a deeper understanding of how they might manage their open-source projects, and a better understanding of the challenges faced by those who manage the projects we have all come to love. Michael Starch, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology

Room 105
Sunday, March 12, 2023 - 11:30 to 12:30