The birth of ABC G.OD – Group of Open Development

While working at the ABC-Groep, just north of Antwerp I’m involved in the coaching program the company have set up a couple of years ago.

As most of my colleagues are consultants working in the branch office of our customers we started with a program to provide a better follow up of the consultant, improve communication between the consultant and the company and to create a company feeling. Most of the consultants only meet each other on the obligated company meetings where for them a bunch of unknown people are present. With regular visits to the consultant, dedicated technical sessions for each branch and a fun event we try to involve the consultants in the social binding that exists in our company.

During one of my coach visits a consultant came up with the idea to create open source projects after the working hours. These projects could help us to play around in the latest version of the .NET framework and to discover the huge amount of open source libraries that can be plugged in into your .NET project. With Nuget it’s never been easier to use third party components or frameworks. As some of my colleagues work at legacy projects and others still work in .NET 3.5, doing a project in the latest version would be very interesting.

After some preparation we had our first kick-off meeting last week. With an 11 colleagues we started the ‘Open Development Group’. We talked about what should be the target, how we are to involve each other in the development process and what we we’re going to create. After some (healthy) discussion we came up with our first project: ‘The ABC Athletes Follow up’. An administrative application for coaches/trainers to efficiently follow up on their athletes.

Github

With 1 developers it’s necessary to have a common code repository to share and commit the code to. Next to the code repository we needed an issue tracker to file the open tasks and report the bugs. Since the projects would be open source we found Github is the perfect place to manage our projects. Github has a built-in issue tracker, repository browser, Wiki, …

Making the projects open source will not only improve the feedback on the created projects but will also give the contributors a very visual overview of their work in the latest version of .NET and other frameworks, components, … This overview can be very handy for the future job interviews of the contributors.

You can find our project page on http://abc-god.github.com/

GOD

The term ‘Open Development Group’ was just a work title for me to check out if there were any colleagues interested in the project. During our kick-off meeting the question arises if ‘Open Development group’ would be a good name to communicate to colleagues and the outside world. It didn’t take long to have one shouting out that if we changed it to ‘Group of Open Development’ the acronym ‘ABC G.OD’ does sound a bit better. A new name was born.

You can follow the ABC G.OD on the Github page, directly the Github repository or on twitter (@GodAbcGroep)
You’ll find more information about the ABC-Groep on the website, on twitter (@abcgroep). All .NET developers are part of the ACE branch of the ABC-groep, a company focusing on .Net development, consultancy for Microsoft Dynamics and services for the Microsoft Sharepoint platform.

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