Your company is using Open Source. Maybe you didn’t know that. Open Source is not for hobbyists. It’s an everyday tool for all developers. What benefits does Open Source bring to your business?
I once heard an interesting interview with Chris Wanstrath – GitHub CEO. Some time ago, the CTO of a large company approached him and told him that “they don’t use Open Source because it’s not safe”. Chris checked the company’s developers’ accounts and replied that it’s not safe not to be aware of what your developers are doing :).
Of course, they were using Open Source. Everyone does these days. Yet, many CTOs try to pretend this is not happening.
Who is using Open Source?
All developers. Especially young developers (let’s say Millenials and younger) who are 100% focused on finding the best solution quickly and efficiently. Their first idea is always to check if there is an Open Source solution to the problem.
Power of Open Source – Amazon contest
There even is an interesting story from Amazon. It shows clearly the power of Open Source. The CTO of Amazon created a contest. The goal: write the best algorithm for analyzing comments. Many teams applied.
The most experienced among them (a team of 2 senior developers) estimated that they needed several months of coding to handle the challenge. But there was also one junior developer, who couldn’t find a partner. Working alone, he solved the problem with the best accuracy in several days. How did he do it?
Simply by downloading several packages from GitHub, testing them, connecting and delivering the highest business value. This was great inspiration for Amazon. They decided to treat AI like a service and deliver modules that can be used by other devs.
This is a common practice right now.
Open Source – your ultimate weapon
So for sure – using Open Source can shorten the development process and decrease business risk (shorter development time, lower cost, more space for experimenting). But using Open Source and engaging in the community can bring your business so much more:
The path to a win-win solution
Open Loyalty (software developed by Divante) is widely used by IT departments that are asked to build a loyalty solution for their business. We have the following situation:
First what devs do is to research the internet for an open source loyalty program… they find us. They download Open Loyalty, play with it, check it, often they integrate this with their internal systems. This way, the CTO is able to show business leaders something that works and looks great.
Then they buy an enterprise license and we have a win-win-win situation. Business is happy because they get what they need, faster than they think. The CTO is happy because they can use nice, cutting-edge technology, and we are happy because, thanks to the enterprise license, we have a budget for developing this package.
The “WHY” factor for developers
From our experience, we know that Open Source is also the “WHY” factor for many developers. Open Source is attractive for devs. They can choose your company because you deliver, or actively support Open Source programs. Being a core contributor to a popular GitHub repo is like being a rock-star.
If you give developers this chance, be sure – the best ones will appreciate this.
Super-effective marketing machine
Open Source could also be a super-effective marketing machine. We’ve built an international strong network of partners around Vue Storefront – our solution for progressive web apps. Thanks to this, we are able to promote Vue Storefront globally with very low cost. Only this year, we have presented the project in Europe, USA, South America and Australia.
Thanks to partners, we have multiple language versions and end-clients feel that this software is really close to them and they can just call a local partner if they need help.
That would be very expensive to build on commercial terms.
Playground for cutting-edge tech
Open Source projects are a great playground for new technologies. You can experiment and check if this is suitable technology. In the worst case scenario, you will stop the project, but maybe someone else will take it from there and move forward.
Open Source as a programming school
You can also use Open Source projects as a kind of programming school. Juniors can work on large, impressive projects, closing bugs or writing tech documentation. It’s like playing together with the Rolling Stones. In the process, you will get very motivated juniors (we can be part of this!) and very motivated seniors (juniors are doing the boring work).
Open Source in CTOs daily job
Be as smart as a CTO. There are many ways Open Source can help you in everyday tasks. Being part of the community and working together on new solutions is the best part of it.
This is why Divante always was, and always will be open … to Open Source.
Ps. Check our projects on GithHub, be the part of this movement!