What's the biggest news from the last few weeks? ​Probably the rumbling debate about "what is open source"? This follows from the decision by Hashicorp to take their open source tools towards a Business Source License (as reported in The Register), which has implications for using these 'free' tools.

If you've not heard of Hashicorp, you might have heard of Terraform, their (formally 'completely free' to use) Infrastructure as Code tool. Terraform is used by companies, both big and small, to automate the creation of cloud infrastructure on AWS, Google, Azure, etc. So while this is big news, it's probably not bad news for everyone. The license change is most definitely aimed at Hashicorp's service-aligned competitors. So perhaps this is a storm in a teacup? Or at least a storm that most of us simple users of Terraform can ignore?

Well, not necessarily. Perhaps it's a good idea now to think about your company's view of open source and where it fits into your roadmap because no software is written today without the help of FOSS (Free and Open Source Software).

More details on the licence changes can be found on the excellent Kyle E. Mitchell blog. You can also read more here with this excellent piece about the history of open source and how big tech has got involved over the last 30 years.

Speaking as someone who spent a lot of time writing open-source software, I'm a big proponent of it, but I'm also a big proponent of making sure that credit is given to those that do the hard work. And this is the big debate. Can and should companies profit from the work of unpaid volunteers? In current times, perhaps the model needs to be revised. Perhaps Big Tech should take a leading role in making sure that open-source is equitable for all.


I've been on vacation for the last few weeks, and I'm now back in NL to start work with a new (old) client next week. I'm very excited to share more about that in time. In the meantime however, I've also made a few decisions about what I offer to my clients. Previously I had announced the Modern Software Leadership course but on reflection have decided that this needs more refinement and would make more sense in written format. Therefore I have decided to expand this framework around the Modern Software Leadership way. I'm aiming to publish this in Q2 next year.

Additionally, following some positive feedback following my talk at the We Are Developers conference in Berlin in July, I've decided to offer training and coaching on the QUEST practices. More to follow in the next few weeks about QUEST practices and MSL.

Until the next time, enjoy the rest of your Sunday.

-- Richard

When you can’t do Test-Driven Development

Published on August 14, 2023

While we would like everything to be perfect – nothing ever is. While we might like to do Test Driven Development – sometimes we take the shortcut. Why? Because of time, application, lack of practice or knowledge. Sometimes it’s because we’re just scared it will send the wrong signal to those we work with. There… Read More »When you can’t do Test-Driven Development


How to Write Unopinionated Code in a Sea of Opinions

Published on July 24, 2023

I wrote a script to extract Azure DevOps work items. Why? Because I wanted to test a hypothesis. I wanted to prove how our software projects often miss the point. To do that, I thought I could mine existing Azure DevOps data to prove something. But as I explored the Azure DevOps API, I concluded… Read More »How to Write Unopinionated Code in a Sea of Opinions


Doing DevOps

Join my newsletter for regular views and news all about doing effective, essential DevOps. I dive into the human factors that make successful DevOps organizations and the teams and platforms at the heart of your socio-technical systems. From team setup, to maximizing performance through fast flow to tools and techniques.

Read more from Doing DevOps