Giving Back: Why Open Source Software Development is so Important
Many of today’s popular web services are built with open source software. In fact, as of right now, the top 10 sites in the United States use open source technology in a major way to run their services. Whether it’s using the popular Linux operating system to power their servers, Apache to serve their content or PHP to drive the backend of their sites; open source is everywhere on the Internet. You may even be using open source software in the form of Chrome or Firefox.
Open source software is vital to the Internet today. It allows for cheap adoption of new, powerful technologies without the hassle of negotiating licensing terms and costs, while also enabling endless customization.
Most open source software is written by teams of volunteers around the world, each solving their own problems and pushing their improvements back into the software where it can hopefully help solve someone else’s problem. This ad-hoc collaboration between teams of programmers helps drive and improve open source software into some of the most reliable and secure software in the world.
However, one thing needs to happen for open source software to continue to be powerful and useful to companies. It needs contributions from its users. Many people are hesitant to give back, though. They may feel they are not a good enough programmer to make any real contribution or they just don’t know where to begin.
Bottom line, You don't have to be a superstar programer to help with open source projects.
Click below for more info on how you can Contribute to Open Source Software Development
Wikipedia, a free collaborative multilgual Internet Encyclopedia, is in the spotlight today for their bold protest of legislation (SOPA and PIPA) that ultimately infringes upon the rights and protection of open platform contributers and distributers.
About the Author: Patrick Davis is a Senior Software Engineer at API Digital. He has been a Rails developer since 2006. Patrick has built several mid-scale applications in the customer management and provisioning space. He spoke at the Ruby Hoedown (2008) and continually contributes to open-source software such as the twitter gem as well as two of his own developments: Roart and Radiustar.