How Can Traditional Software Engineering Users Benefit From Implementing OSS Practices?

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Dr. Yonglei Tao, taoy@gvsu.edu

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Software Engineering (SE) as a discipline can be traced back to the 1960's. Its' aim was to rationalize the design and development of large software products in a systematic manner. With the advent of the Internet came many changes in the software industry. Among them are the need for faster product life cycles, and greater accessibility of software options. The trend toward the creation and use of open source software (OSS) is rapidly growing, in response to these needs, as well as others. In our research, we have examined how the process used to develop OSS differs from the approach that has been traditionally applied to software engineering. We've identified several key areas where the OSS processes leads to benefits over traditional SE methods. Finally, we offer several potential opportunities for proprietary companies using traditional SE to benefit from utilizing some of the OSS practices discussed in this paper.

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