It is commonly known how fast the tech industry changes. From consistent function deprecation to emerging libraries and frameworks it is easy to get lost amongst the constant iteration of standards. Taking a look back a mere 4 years ago shows a tech landscape centered with wider adoption of closed technology and proprietary frameworks. In 2018 it is unbelievable what you can do with so little in terms of software development. Modern platforms as a service make it easier than ever to deploy applications straight from GitHub to the cloud and make use of continuous integration with a click of a button. This has caused an exciting change in the tech industry with regular developers having free access to deploy and test their applications without having the complications of configuring server architecture or provisioning resources.
So why is open source shaping new development? Well, it comes down to multiple points. Aspiring and experienced developers have more access than ever to professional code bases where they can contribute and integrate themselves in a project or technology developed by thousands. You notice a bug in Visual Studio Code? No problem! Feel free to fix it and share it with the millions of users across the globe. Doing this adds merit to yourself as a developer making it good for resumes, learning, and community involvement. In Open Source a student and senior developer are on the same playing field. They both have access to the same resources, platform, and documents that support the code base which makes the dynamic of contributing to a project freely so interesting. What is even more surprising is the adoption of this development model by development firms and pure tech companies. For example, appbase.io is a mid-sized company specializing as a platform as a service for elasticsearch and NoSQL db storage. I did some open source work with them a few months ago by fixing a few bugs and small feature enhancements. What’s interesting about this company model when it comes to Open Source is that by allowing developers access to the codebase and making software issues public is that it allows a dev to dev tradeoff. Appbase.io gets potential free debugging and feature enhancement for its paid service and technology and the open source contributor gets access to a professional codebase and a line of contact to senior developers who in most cases will personally guide contributors to fix or enhance a feature. This happens in a wide variety of projects from Google Chrome, Mozilla Thimble, Blockchain (loads), and many more. A lot of applications used every day are developed and maintained by ordinary people around the world which makes the prospects of being a developer so broad and essentially having the sky as the limit. People tend to apply themselves more when doing something they enjoy and open source allows not just developers but people in all parts of the tech industry to specialize and contribute to projects and technology that truly inspire and drive themselves as a professional.
Overall I am extremely excited to see the how Open Source will grow and shape new and old applications. I believe a hybrid approach of profitability and having an open codebase is entirely possible and should be encouraged with emerging technologies. Open Source is proven to create a higher adoption rate (just take a look at TensorFlow, Blockchain, etc) and kickstart development for new projects. I hope Open Source will continue to bring new and exciting technologies to the revolutionize the tech industry.