As I sit here in the offices of CollabNet on a Friday evening, wrapping up final tasks before heading to Anaheim next week for the DISA Partner Conference, I’m heartened by news that we received about an hour ago. The Forge.mil system has officially been granted IOC (Initial Operational Capability) status by DISA. This may not mean much to some of you reading this, but suffice it to say it is a huge step forward in fielding a set of collaborative environments to improve software development at the US Department of Defense.
We now are ‘officially open for business’ (with the initial ‘SoftwareForge.mil’ offering). This does not mean that the work is over however – it is only just beginning. We expect that after (or probably even during) the conference next week, we’ll be getting a deluge of new users and project requests on SoftwareForge.mil. Additionally, we know there is pent-up demand for the ProjectForge.mil capability (the same toolset as SoftwareForge.mil, but specifically designed to allow private collaborative projects within DoD).
When we started development of what has become our IOC launch back in October of last year, I don’t think any of us truly realized the huge interest we would be generating with this effort. As we prepare to present the Forge.mil story at the conference, including a panel session I’ll be a part of, I’d like to thank our colleagues at DISA & Navy SPAWAR for guiding us through the complex process of launching the site while keeping an open mind to a new way of doing things. I know I’ve learned a ton about how software development in the government works, and I hope we’ve been able to bring a unique perspective on how Open Source collaborative projects can work in such an environment.
For those that may just be joining this blog thread on my Forge.mil updates, feel free to check out the slides and video replay of the ‘Introduction to Forge.mil’ webinar we did several weeks ago. It should give you a good overall feel for where we are trying to take this effort. We also welcome your comments, questions, and feedback on that direction as well.
And with that, I’m going to head off to pack, and hope to see some of you at the show. Oh, and yes, I’ll be sneaking in some ‘Mickey Time’ at Disneyland the weekend after the conference… I couldn’t go all the way down there and not pop in to see my favorite mouse and his cohorts!
I’ll be tweeting from the show as well (you can follow me @guyma on Twitter), and will have a wrap-up blog post when I get back. I’ll see the rest of you in a couple of weeks…