Open source has been around for donkey’s years but until recently the persuasive argument of “many eyeballs” was the guiding policy when using open source. In comes the recent industry shock wave we all know as Heartbleed and now many of us are re-evaluating the cost of free software.
I remember it clearly. Sitting down for breakfast, I opened the Sydney Morning Herald to see the latest headlines in Australia for the day. As I shuffled through the paper, I finally landed upon the Technology section and then noticed pages and pages of “help wanted” adds.
While Repository Health Checks are valuable, we just released something even better: the CLM 1.11 Dashboard. First of all, it helps you answer the first two critical open source vulnerability questions: did we ever use that and where is it? And, you can find out the answers to those questions in about three seconds.
In part one of my blog, It’s Just the Way Software is Made, I discussed the realities of how software is made, the birth of agile development, and the advent of component-based software development. Today, we will drive down the software supply chain to understand where your software has really coming from. I’ll also discuss why it’s important for us to instill high quality standards and governance policies in our “parts” ecosystem.
Paul Roberts (@paulfroberts) at InfoWorld recently shared his perspective on “5 big security mistakes coders make”. First on his list was trusting third-party code that can’t be trusted. Paul shares: “If you program for a living, you rarely — if ever — build an app from scratch. It’s much more likely that you’re developing an application from a pastiche of proprietary code that you or your colleagues created, partnered with open source or commercial, third-party software or services that you rely on to perform critical functions.
In part two of my blog ‘A Closer Look at Today’s Software Supply Chain’, I discussed why human-speed supply chain management can’t keep pace with today’s agile software development practices and why high quality software components are not simply a given. In this final segment, I will share a real world story on how thousands of organizations sourced one “bad part” named Bouncy Castle in 2013.
In our recent open source developer survey we asked, what are the TOP FOUR characteristics considered when selecting a component? And since components are the building blocks used when creating an application, selecting the right one is an important choice. Not surprisingly, the most important characteristic for the selection are the features and capabilities provided by the component. After all, if the component doesn’t fulfill your requirements then why use it?
Just like automobile manufacturers, software “manufacturers” need to apply supply chain management principles for both efficiency and quality. They need to be prepared to conduct a rapid and comprehensive “recall” when a defect is found. And today’s modern development practices make this, well, challenging to say the least.
Just the other day I was planning dinner for my family and thought it would be a great idea to bust out the Dutch oven I had to have, but rarely use, and make a nice stew. I ran to the grocery store to grab some fresh carrots, turnips, onions, a couple of Yukon Gold potatoes, and some fresh chicken (and a bottle of nice wine for the thirsty chef). I needed a quick start and an on-time finish. Or it would be another failed product delivery — followed by a rapid desire by my family to outsource.
I can still recall (it actually pains me to count the years, so I refuse to) with perfect clarity the sound of my 1200 baud modem handshaking with my neighborhood’s local BBS. It’s a sound that so consistently produces a smile for me, I liken it to the crisp smell of air just before rain begins to fall; it’s something instantly recognizable.