The Open Source Way to Standards Development: A NASA-JPL Approach to Software Excellence
In the dynamic realm of open-source software, the need to continually improve and make the software development lifecycle more efficient can be challenging. Developers often lack the time to collectively invest in software development standards like best practices for project governance, software lifecycle design and documentation standards. However, we can learn from the open-source community model and streamline the roll-out of software development best practices and standards through treating standards-as-code – to be iterated, commented upon, reviewed as a community and released in a software-oriented way. In this light, we present the Software Lifecycle Improvement & Modernization (SLIM) effort at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Grounded on insights from NASA JPL’s strategic Open Source Software (OSS) initiatives, SLIM seeks to identify, develop and release best practices in software to make them actionable for not just the NASA-JPL community but for the wider government-affiliated open source community as well. SLIM offers real-world, ready-to-go examples of templates, starter-kits and guides that are ripe for infusion into existing and new software projects via versioned releases of community-developed standards.
In this presentation, we’ll introduce SLIM to explore some of our best practice recommendations in depth, including efforts that promote security-minded methodologies like DevSecOps as well as “shift left” philosophies - i.e. performing activities like testing earlier in the software development pipeline. For example, these software lifecycle topics include practices such as continuous integration, continuous testing and other areas that promote “shift left”. We’ll provide a sneak peek at some of our ongoing standards development and soon-to-be-released community-iterated best practices. Join us to unwrap the potential of merging open-source vigor with structured development of software standards.