DoD announces open source software experiment

ARLINGTON, Va. The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) recently announced the launch of, an open source initiative that allows software developers around the world to collaborate on unclassified code written by federal employees in support of DoD projects.

is working with GitHub, an open source platform, in an experiment aimed at fostering collaboration between  federal employees and private-sector software developers on software projects built within the DoD. The URL directs users to an online repository that will store code written for a range of projects across the DoD for individuals to review and make suggested changes.

The DoD's stated aim is for to act as a direct avenue for the department to tap into a worldwide community of developers in an effort to collectively speed up and strengthen the software development process. In exchange, individuals will be allowed to reuse and repurpose DoD program code hosted on GitHub for personal and public projects.

The initiative is led by the Defense Digital Service (DDS), which the DoD established in 2015 to bring private-sector best practices, talent, and technology into the department. DDS personnel -- from companies such as Google, Amazon, and Netflix -- commit themselves to the DoD for short stints to work on problems affecting the DoD. Current DDS projects include “Hack the Pentagon,” Next Generation GPS (OCX), and a modernization of the Defense Travel System.

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