The District is piloting a new program to promote the use and development of open source code within its agencies. The aim is to establish a shared home and governance model for all DC Government open source projects, with enough flexibility to support diverse agency and project needs.

The program will enable agencies to:

  • Develop their work in the open, enabling public feedback and collaboration from day one.
  • Use open source software developed by third parties.
  • Contribute to open source projects maintained by third parties.

Based on the results of the Open Source Pilot, a more formal open source policy will be developed and launched in the coming months.

All DC Government teams are welcome to take part in the Pilot, with this site designed to give you the know-how to join in.

The site itself is a living document, actively maintained by the Office of the Chief Technology Officer Technology Innovation Program. We welcome feedback and edits from teams across DC government and the public as we scale the program.

To learn more, please email us. We are excited to help!


Glossary of Terms

  • Commit

    Committing records changes made to a Git repository.

  • Fork

    A fork is a copy of someone else’s Git repository. You can make changes to your fork without affecting the original project.

  • Git

    Git is a popular free and open source system for tracking changes in text-based files. It is primarily used for software development.

  • GitHub

    GitHub is a web-based platform on which you can host and work on Git repositories. It provides a number of useful features, including bug tracking, feature requests, and task management.

  • Open Source

    In brief, open source licenses allow software to be freely used, modified, and shared. They abide by standards laid out in the Open Source Definition.

  • Personally Identifiable Information (PII)

    PII is any information that can be used on its own or with other information to identify, contact, or locate a single person, or to identify an individual in context.

  • Private Key

    Private keys are a kind of PII used to decrypt messages sent over the Internet. They form part of a system called Public-Key Cryptography.

  • Push

    Pushing allows you to share the Git commits you have made with others.

  • Repository

    Repositories are places where a Git project’s files and their revision history are stored.

  • Token

    A software token can be used in two-factor authentication to authorize access to computer services.

  • Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)

    In two-factor authentication, two different components are used in combination to verify a user’s identity (e.g. a password and a single-use token sent to your email).