Open Source – Open Development

Dear Readers,

My apologies being quiet so long, but there have been so many other personal developments going on. At the end of the year, I moved from city to the village and been more specialised in renovating a house project than open source. Actually, I wrote the following text at the beginning of December, but my colleague Mikko criticised this being unclear. Finally, I had time to edit the text and  I post this with some updates.

I was sitting some moths ago in a seminar called OPEN (in Finnish AVOIN). This event was organised  by SADe – Action Programme on eServices and eDemocracy (http://www.vm.fi/vm/en/05_projects/03_sade/index.jsp). The programme is part of the public sector ICT progress by the Ministry of Finance in Finland. The seminar was promoting the eight member projects which are using Open Source principles as well as Open Data initiative.

Most of the 8 projects are in a way regular developments within the public administration and organised traditionally, nevertheless there were some cases that waked interest in. Learner’s Service Framework will collect all certificates and diplomas as well as study plans into a Study Path of an individual during his/her years in compulsory education, vocational until the higher education as well as the continuous education, years and decades later. The Framework will also be used as a tool to create applications to the universities. When the service is ready, a citizen is able to provide the information in electronic format for the employers as well.

Even when the project itself was not a completely new idea – I tried years ago get funding for an  idea of similar kind. Still, the project has something to take another look. The project uses agile software development where one of the key issues is to get the users and software developers working together. In this case, the participants are working together in the same rooms to ensure that the feedback from the users is immediately available for the developers. The project is using Scrum methodology.

For me, the most important message was: Finally someone in the public sector has understood and is able to demand a new method. The software development is not allowed to be a separated task that can be done at the best far from the end-customer and users. Instead, software and IT is just a part of service and process development; it should be open to the users and hopefully also those who will use the service – in this case the students.

Open Source Archive has to take contact and discuss the requirements with all stakeholders: the archivists know how to manage information, the users – researchers and public – know how the material can be utilized.

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About Osmo Palonen

I used to work as Project Manager at the Mikkeli University of Applied Sciences since 2003 until end of May 2014. I have started and developed digital archiving and digitization in projects and customer service operations. My background is in journalism and industrial automation for printing industry. The first one lasted 16 years and the latter 14. As a hobby I am the editor of quarterly Faili, read history and crime books as well as listen to jazz, blues and rock. I am a founding member of FC United of Manchester and life-long supporter of hockey team Kärpät of Oulu. I made my MA in history and IT at the University of Tampere 2011.
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