Introducing Partner Governance

Today we announced some changes we’ve made to how Mbed OS is governed.

This is the culmination of a lot of work over the past 18 months and we thought we’d use this as an opportunity to add a little background colour to today’s announcement.

Mbed OS has, since its inception, been an open source project, using the Apache 2.0 license, and all our development is done in the open on GitHub. Our model of enabling developer platforms is predicated on our partners contributing their drivers to the Mbed repo and our workflows have evolved to support that model. As of today, 58% of our code contributions on GitHub come from the engineers working for our silicon partners, many of whom have deep expertise in the internals of Mbed OS.

Over the past ten years we’ve built up excellent engineering relationships with many of these engineering teams and we get consistent feedback from them on the work we do to develop Mbed OS. When we have a new feature with specific hardware requirements to develop, we collaborate closely with one or more of our silicon partners who are also looking to introduce support for that feature or technology.

Guiding roadmap decisions

When discussing Mbed OS plans and roadmaps with our partners, one topic that has been consistently raised by them is how they can have more influence over the future direction of Mbed OS. Last summer, we put together an initial proposal on how we thought we could open up the governance of Mbed OS to allow silicon partners to have more visibility of our plans and the ability to influence those plans themselves. We shared this with our partners and, following positive feedback, took the decision to progress further and set up two new Product working groups, one to cover the technical aspects of Mbed OS and one to cover how we can collaborate more around marketing.

In recent years, we’ve also hosted an annual silicon partner workshop where we bring together engineers from both the Mbed development teams and our silicon partner teams to introduce new features and discuss our plans for the upcoming releases in an informal, collaborative environment. These workshops have always been positively received and the effort and commitment from all involved during them is impressive with sessions often lasting late into the evening.

/media/uploads/dirons/pwg1.jpg Kicking off this year's Silicon partner workshop.

Arm hosted this year’s workshop at Newnham College in Cambridge and extended it to cover the launch of our new Partner Governance model. Representatives from nine of our silicon partners attended and we spent three days covering a wide range of topics relating to Mbed OS, our development processes, the work done to improve the quality of the OS and partner ports of it, how we can effectively market Mbed OS together and how we can generate leads for our partners from the use of Mbed OS on their development boards.

We also spent time building a backlog of topics to be covered by the two new working groups, with lots of great suggestions made by our partners and then used that to build an agenda for the first meetings of both the Product Working Groups, which we held on the morning of the last day of the workshop. We’ve subsequently started regular calls of the Technical Working Group which we will hold on a monthly basis, with the same cadence planned for the Marketing Working Group.

/media/uploads/dirons/pwg2.jpg Attendees enjoying the beautiful English summer sun post-workshop.

We think the three day event was a success and the working atmosphere was positive and collaborative, with some great contributions received from our partners on how we can improve aspects of both Mbed OS itself and how we can improve the marketing of it. The feedback from our partners who attended reflected this and we are excited about how we can continue these discussions in the working groups and continue our collaborative efforts to make Mbed OS even more successful.

This new model of partner governance is open to all our silicon partners so if you’d like to be involved please contact your local Arm representative to find out how you can join.

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