BCS OSSG AGM + talk on Brooks’ Law in a Free Software context on 13th November 2013 at 6:30pm – BCS HQ

The BCS OSSG AGM is to be held on the 13th November from 6:30pm  followed by a talk on FLOSS research by Dr Andrea Capiluppi, Brunel University London and Dr. Paul James Adams from KDAB.

Venue: BCS, First Floor, The Davidson Building, 5 Southampton Street, London, WC2E 7HA

You will need to book a place this event using the booking link  for the evening event: https://events.bcs.org/book/853/

Closing date for bookings is Tuesday 12 November 2013 at 11:59pm. No more bookings will be taken after this date.

There will be  tea and coffee before the meeting starts followed by sandwiches after the FLOSS talk.

The timetable for the evening will be:

  • 18:00 – Registration & refreshments
  • 18:30 – AGM
  • 18:45 – FLOSS Talk
  • 19:45 – Q&A
  • 20:00 – Networking
  • 21:30 – Close

The agenda  for the AGM will include:

  • Welcome and Introductions
  • Apologies for absence
  • Minutes of the previous AGM
  • Matters arising from the minutes
  • A report from the Chair on the year’s activities
  • A report from the Treasurer
  • Election of Chair, Treasurer and committee members
  •  Any other business

Notification of items wishing to be raised at the AGM under “Any other business” should be sent to me (Mike Trotman – OSSG Secretary)or Cornelia (OSSG Chair) not less than three days in advance of the meeting. Admission of items not so notified at the AGM will be at the discretion of the Chair.

The minutes of the previous AGM are available here: https://ossg.bcs.org/wp- content/uploads/BCS-AGM- Minutes.html

Synopsis of evening talk

Proponents of the Free Software paradigm have argued that some of the most established software engineering principles do not fully apply when considered in an open, distributed approach found in Free Software development. The objective of this talk is to empirically examine the Brooks’ Law in a Free Software context. The principle is separated out into its two primary premises.

The first is based on a developer’s ability to become productive when joining a new team; the second premise relates to the quality of coordination as the team grows. Three large projects are studied for this purpose: KDE, Plone and Evince. Based on empirical evidence, the talk provides two main contributions: based on the first premise of Brooks’ Law, it claims that coordination costs increase only in a very specific phase for Free Software projects. After that, these costs become quasi-constant.

Secondly, it shows that a ramp up period exists in Free Software projects, and this period marks the divide between projects that are successful at engaging new contributors from others that only benefit from occasional new contributors.


Paul Adams is a software engineer, specialising in Free Software community management. He currently works as a Director for KDAB; the world’s largest consultancy dedicated to Qt, the Free Software cross-platform application framework. Paulgraduated in 2004 as a Software Engineer, from the University of Durham, UK. His subsequent doctorate was conducted between 2004 and 2009 from the University of Lincoln. Paul was awarded Chartered IT Professional status, in 2008 and is a full professional member of the British Computer Society, IEEE as well as of KDE e.V. and the Fellowship of the FSFE. He is a Fellow of the OpenForum Academy.

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