Norwegian government open sources travel expense project

The norwegian department of renewal and administration has released an open source solution for managing travel expenses (english translation). This is an interesting event and I hope and think that it is a practice that will be followed in the future.

No doubt, I think it is a terrifying experience for most developers to have to publicly publish their code in such a high profile project. And surely it didn’t take long before someone was picking it apart on Twitter, but that’s just part of learning. Quality review is now free, focus on that. 🙂

What is important now is that this is handled as a living product where feedback is included and others get to contribute. And you will need an active core of developers, so the people that did develop it needs to be kept on payroll for a good while to actively improve the product. Over time more developers will hopefully contribute, but in the beginning the core group is extremely important.

I can’t wait to see more projects like this. It will increase reuse and savings in the public sector, and it will put the code out there for everyone to see and contribute. In the case of consultants beeing hired to develop software for the public sector, they can no longer say that a project was successful because it delivered according to contract. They will also need to deliver quality. The code and system will be out there for everyone to scruitinize. Let’s hope more and more projects get open sourced like this.