A short paper,Engaging Developers in Standards Development; the Cetis Code Bash Approach by Lorna Campbell and Adam Copper is now available from the Cetis Publications site.
The paper discusses how Cetis Codebash events help to achieve practical interoperability by testing new specifications and standards. Drawing on years of experience includes a checklist for running a successful Code bash, including who to invite and the ground rules to establish.
A linear process in which a written standard is created and then implemented in software is liable to fail for many reasons arising both from the difficulty in writing a specification that is sufficiently precise and accurate while also allowing for necessary flexibility in use, and from the intrinsic complexity of the human activities and IT systems in which it will be realised. Engaging software developers in the standards development process has been found to be an effective means to improve the written standards, to enlarge the scope of practical interoperability between software, and to identify and share effective practice. Over a period of years, Cetis developed an approach to this kind of engagement which we called a “Code Bash”. This white paper outlines the motivation, typical outcomes and practicalities of running a Code Bash and is intended to motivate people working in either formal or informal standards-development settings to engage developers in the process and to provide them with some ideas to adapt to their own setting.