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Simple 10-step Open Source Software Development Life Cycle Strategy

7 Mins read

If you’re looking for a detailed and comprehensive resource on the open source software development life cycle, look no further. Start your research here, and let this blog post guide you through the process of developing and launching an open-source project.

We’ll go over some best practices in both planning and executing open-source projects, as well as provide tips for working with communities. By the end of this guide, you should know how to write an open-source software development life cycle management plan, choose your development methodology, select the right tools for the job, and even get advice on how to best protect your intellectual property.

Open Source Software Development Life Cycle Strategy

1. Introduction And Background

One of the first questions anyone considering working on an open-source project often asks is what is an open-source software development life cycle?

Throughout the development process, managers and engineers will need to discuss different ways of tracking their progress. A planning stage can be defined as the time where developers set out on their way to create your product, while a launch stage is dedicated for managing and launching your product once it has been completed. During these stages, project managers must be able to track each phase of their team’s progress, especially with regards to analyzing tasks that either require more manpower or which can cause delays.

2. Planning Your Open Source Project

Each project’s development life cycle will be different so you must find methods that work best for your team. However, it is important to keep in mind the following issues when planning your project:

The size of your team. The size will affect how much time you have to spend on planning your software development life cycle. You can spend too much time planning or not enough time creating and launching your open source project to the public.

The amount of experience you have with open source software. If you aren’t familiar with an open source project, you will need to spend more time planning and creating your project than someone who has already launched and is actively contributing to an open source project.

The type of open source software you want to launch. This means that what tools and processes best fit your team’s needs. For example, if your team is adept at building Java web applications such as Google’s Android platform, then you will need a lifecycle management plan for Android-based software development. But if your focus is on web applications using Ruby on Rails or using Python and Django, then your lifecycle management tool should be tailored for this specific area of expertise.

3. Software Development Methodologies in Open Source Projects

The software development methodology you choose for your open-source software will be different than one you use for closed-source projects. This is because an open-source project needs to allow the public to contribute to the code base, meaning that your lifecycle management plan must take into consideration all of the following aspects:

Public code repository. Open source projects are hosted on GitHub’s repository, which is free for public use and has many features that make it an excellent choice for hosting your software development lifecycle management plan. However, there are many other repositories to do the same.

GitHub allows you to manage a number of projects in a single repository. All you have to do is define your project’s goals, create its structure, and add files from your development process. Most importantly, you can open source software development life cycle management plan GitHub with an unlimited number of collaborators, which means that you can invite outside contributors to work on your software.

Open-source project management tools for GitHub repository. To manage issues and track progress among members of the community while contributing to open source projects, consider ZenHub. It’s an easy-to-use tool that enables anyone who knows how to use a browser and Google Docs to create and manage issues and tasks without any additional learning curve.

In addition to using ZenHub alongside your GitHub repository, you can also use GitHub Issues as a standalone tool to help manage the lifecycle of your open source project. There are many other excellent project management tools on the market as well.

In some cases, you may find that another tool better suits your needs and preferences. If this is the case, pick a tool that fits your workflow and philosophy and learning how to use it effectively.

4. Choosing an Open Source License For Your Project

Once you have your team selected, your project laid out, and your open-source software development life cycle management plan ready to begin, the next step is to select the right software license. The open-source license you choose will have a huge impact on how you are able to use your project’s codebase. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular options available:

MIT license This is one of the most basic open-source licenses for projects that are not directly tied to any company or organization. MIT specifically allows developers to use its codebase without any restrictions concerning use or building upon their project. In other words, an MIT license means that you can copy, distribute, and sell your open source code base.

Boost License – One of the most popular licenses for many companies and organizations launching open source projects is the Boost Software License a.k.a. BSL a.k.a., “Boost Software License”. The Boost Software License allows you to use, edit, and build upon the code you have open-sourced with its exception to patents or similar rights provided by a royalty-bearing license that has been approved by Boost (this happens when projects such as Boost or Eclipse are mentioned in your software).

OSI approved Open Source license (OSLG) licenses – Open Source Initiative has approved a wide range of licenses for open-source projects. The Open Source License lists benefits and restrictions. OSI approved licenses include the BSD, Mozilla, Apache, MIT, LGPL, and Eclipse. In general, OSI approved licenses allow you to use the open-source codebase freely for non-commercial purposes.

GNU Affero General Public License – A GPL license can be used to build a company’s proprietary software based on an open-source project that has a GPL license. However, if you do this without permission from the developer of an open-source project that uses the GPL software you are building upon then you will be in violation of the GPL license itself.

GNU Lesser General Public License – A LGPL license can be used to build a company’s proprietary software based on an open-source project that uses an LGPL. However, if you do this without permission from the developer of an open-source project that uses an LGPL then you will be in violation of the LGPL license itself.

5. Choosing a Development Team

If you are looking to develop an open-source project as a solo developer, you will need to define the project’s goals, create its structure, and start adding files from your development process. In some cases, this may be enough to get your project up and running.

In the case of a larger open-source software development life cycle management project being developed by a team of developers who have common goals and philosophies regarding software development, I recommend first creating a GitHub repository for your codebase. Next, define its structure and start adding files from your development process on that repository’s master branch.

6. What Makes a Good GitHub Repository?

The most important thing to remember when setting up your GitHub repository is that GitHub is a social coding platform. There are many resources available on the GitHub community, and your public repository will make it easy for other developers to discover your project and join development efforts.

When setting up your website and getting it ready for the pre-launch marketing phase — keep in mind that people with varying technical skills can find and clone your repository. They can view its source code, bugs & issues, pull requests (PRs); as well as fork it once they like what they see.

These steps will not only build interest in your open source project before the launch date; but also help you define the basic architecture of the software you’re building.

7. Planning an Open-Source Launch

The next step is to fill out your project’s site once you’ve chosen the best domain name for your open-source software project. You’ll then want to create a marketing page that will help drive traffic to the page once it goes live; and, plan your launch.

For more tips on planning an open-source launch, take a look at our article The Complete Guide To Open Source Releases

Once you have launched your open source software, you can use tools like Hootsuite; Buzz; Twitter; Facebook; SlideShare; LinkedIn to help organize and manage the community interested in your codebase.

8. Maintaining Your Repository

Once you have started your open source project, you’ll need to be sure you have a plan for how the project will be maintained. Maintaining an open source software development life cycle can be a full-time job.

In some cases, it is possible that other developers in your organization or community will spend time maintaining the repository. In any case, I highly recommend that you add a CONTRIBUTING file to your GitHub repository to help describe what contributions should include and how to submit them for review.

You may also want to add a CODE_OF_CONDUCT file to your GitHub code repository.

9. Contributing to Other Projects

As an open-source project, you are not limited to coding alone. To better encourage contributions, I recommend defining your project’s CONTRIBUTING file and encouraging other developers to help contribute.

10. How To Protect Your IP(Interlectual property)

As a developer or business owner, you’ll likely want to protect your intellectual property if you’re planning on staying in the open-source market for a long time. While it may be tempting to jump into the sea of open source projects and release your code under an open-source license, your company may not have the resources to defend its intellectual property against infringement claims from any parties.

In many cases, companies do not have the resources for this type of protection either. In these cases, developers should consider utilizing a third-party service like Intellectual Ventures (IV) that specializes in protecting open source software developers and small businesses; It’s recommended to use their “open core” services model.


Developing an open-source software project is a great way to make money from your ideas, and it can help develop a community around your project that will continue to support it long after you have moved on. The key to open source software development is that the business owner needs to be involved in all stages of the design, development, and maintenance cycle.

Because open-source software development requires a different mindset from traditional software development, it may require a larger upfront investment of time and dollars from the business owner. However, if it leads to increased revenue streams for the company down the road, there is no doubt that this will be a worthwhile endeavor for any business owner or developer.

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