In 2009, a small group of associates at Robert Bosch GmbH, a German engineering company with close to 400,000 employees, started what has become one of the most successful applications of InnerSource to date—a bottom-up initiative called Bosch Internal Open Source (BIOS). Guided by Bosch’s values—openness, transparency, voluntariness, self-determination, and meritocracy—BIOS is available to all associates within Bosch and participation was entirely voluntary.
From the outset, BIOS had a strong focus on fostering innovation and on breaking down the barriers for collaboration across business units and across locations. And it succeeded—laying the groundwork for the working model to become an officially supported mainstream approach for software development at Bosch.
Georg Gruetter offers an overview of BIOS, exploring the specific context and the reasons for starting it, which go beyond increasing efficiency. Georg also outlines the organizational setup and shares what’s worked and what hasn’t while implementing InnerSource at this large corporation, providing a guide (and encouragement) as you embark on your InnerSource journey. Of course, Georg also discusses some of the exciting products and tools developed in BIOS and the challenges that still lay ahead.
Georg Gruetter is a social coding evangelist and software development community leader at Robert Bosch GmbH, where he has been leading the first InnerSource community within Bosch since 2009. Georg is a passionate software developer with over 30 years of experience. Previously, he worked for Daimler Chrysler as a researcher, the Zurich System House as a software engineer, and Line Information GmbH as a consultant. Georg has created two open source projects, XHSI and stashNotifier. He is an avid recumbent cyclist and stargazer and generally collects way too many hobbies.
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