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Thoughts on Software Engineering

My Talk at OpenFest2009 – Writing Open Source Books with Large Team of Authors

Yesterday I delivered a talk at OpenFest’2009 to share my rich experience in writing free open-source books with a large team authors and editors. Particuarly I presented the methodology, the organizational and management practices I applied during the work on my last successfull project of this kind: the open source book “Introduction to Programming with Java” written in less than 6 months by a team of 30 authors, consisting of 25 chapters and 962 pages. In the presentation and demonstrations I focused on the most important activities and practices that make such projects successfull:

  • Defining the scope of the book (list of chapters)
  • Creating a detailed guidelines for the authors specifying the writing style and practices
  • Defining the templates for each chapter (topic) containing its structure (headings, subheadings and TODOs)
  • Conducting the team meeting to assigning a chapter to each of the authors
  • Creating a project plan, assigning tasks and deadlines for each author and tracking the work progress
  • Managing the authors and working with authors missing their deadlines
  • Performing a review of the text

My presentation (in Bulgarian) and all demonstration real world examples are available for download:

Visit the Web site of the book Introduction to Programming with Java to see the result of described book writing methodology: www.introprogramming.info.

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