August 18, 2022

Goldman Sachs' Open Source Program Office, One Year In

Rohan Deshpande, Managing Director, App Foundry and Open Source

Goldman Sachs runs on Open Source. In April 2021, we took the opportunity to refresh our open source strategy with input from engineers from across the firm. The first initiative we decided to take on was the creation of an Open Source Program Office (OSPO), which formally launched in August 2021.

Open source is part of a wider set of initiatives focused on developers, both internal and external, and which underpin new product offers such as our Financial Cloud for Data. As our co-CIO Marco Argenti said to Protocol several weeks ago, we are "putting developers at the center... Within our clients, it's not just the chief investment officer — there is another persona that has emerged really powerfully as a decision maker and an enabler, which is the developer. We're more and more trying to create an offering for [them] that spans open source, spans the cloud, spans software, etc., that really upholds the same standards that we do with other clients and at the same time really codifies all that expertise that we're building on over all the decades here at Goldman."

Screenshot of  OSPO page: https://developer.gs.com/discover/open-source
Screenshot of  OSPO page: https://developer.gs.com/discover/open-source

The OSPO took on several goals aligned with our desire to enable developers, both within and outside the firm. Here's a summary of what we have accomplished.

  • ​Support more open source code contributions by the firm's developers through improvements to internal policies, processes, and tools used to contribute to open source. To enable this goal, we revised our open source policy to permit open source contribution on behalf of the bank from BYOD devices, published guidelines for developer side projects, created a playbook to guide the open sourcing of GS projects and codebases, and as a result were able to successfully onboard 20+ projects and 2 new foundation entities to which GS engineers may contribute code.
  • Promote use of, and contributions to, the projects we've open sourced such as Legend and GS Quant. We launched an open source page on developer.gs.com that describes our open source initiatives, including the projects we've open sourced, the projects to which we contribute, and the foundations we support. We also joined the TODO Group, a consortia of Open Source Program Offices. Additionally, we created open source "ambassadorships" to share open source leading practices with organizations also pursuing open source roadmaps. 
  • Position our work in open source, including our involvement in external open source communities, to support our overall divisional and organization wide goals around developer attraction and retention. We integrated open source topics into our developer boot camp, delivered a series of open source awareness and deep-dive events for GS developers around open source topics, and refreshed our open source training courses that developers take to be eligible to contribute to open source projects on behalf of the firm.
  • Curate and revise as needed our open source license policies related to open source code and package consumption. We started the process to clarify usage guidelines for the most commonly used and requested software license categories at the firm. 

A large number of accomplishments for a new team in a year! In June 2022, Rob Underwood, our global lead for the OSPO, presented at the Linux Foundation's Open Source Summit to recap the OSPO's first year. Rob spoke about our progress, what we've learned, and the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead. Also presenting at the Open Source Summit were Bella Wiseman, who served as the OPSO's inaugural lead engineer, and Sidhuja Durai; a replay of their talk is available. At the same conference, Goldman Sachs' OSPO was also recognized as the "OSPO of the Year", a validation of the hard work put in by the GS OSPO as well as the work many Goldman Sachs teams have invested over the years in open source.

Robert Underwood, Open Source Program Office lead, holding the OSPO of the Year Award
Robert Underwood, Open Source Program Office lead, holding the OSPO of the Year Award

This blog itself is another example of an initiative we've undertaken to strengthen our connections with the developer community. Hence why it's hosted on developer.gs.com, our hub for developers looking to build with our products and on our platforms. On developer.gs.com, we recently launched a dedicated page to open source, which describes the projects we've open sourced, the projects to which we contribute, a few of our open source contributors, and the open source foundations in which we are members. Projects that we have open sourced are on github.com/goldmansachs along with the projects we've contributed to foundations - Legend and CatchIT - that reside within FINOS, and Eclipse Collections in the Eclipse Foundation.

We have several strategic initiatives lined up and will continue our journey to enable developers everywhere. One of our areas of focus is around tools and we plan to deliver the next iteration of our contributor and contribution management tooling, to better integrate open source contribution workflows with our firmwide software development methodology. We will also further expand participation by the firm's engineers at external conferences, on podcasts, and through channels like the developer blog, prioritizing opportunities to share the work our engineers are doing as open source. Internally, we will launch an open source contributor recognition program and open source mentorship program so that contributors have a friendly and expert community to leverage.

We're very excited about Open Source at Goldman Sachs; If you are too, email us at opensource@gs.com.


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