It’s not just a click bait, maybe Poland not yet, but now a day we see more companies, as well as governments, choose open source.
A month ago Google, open-sourced its pre-trained models and fine-tuning code for Big Transfer (BiT), And Microsoft last weeks Akri project, NSA Ghidra from a tool that kept from the public to open source, the examples piling up weekly, and we hear daily companies in big bold title Announcing new projects and introducing with a big welcoming applause as OPEN SOURCE.
Back in the late ’90s, when the Open Source Initiative was born, the idea of releasing source code would have been considered a bad strategy for technology companies because proprietary software was the standard and companies were doing everything they could to protect their software, in 2020 The concept of open source has changed dramatically and is now mainstream.
Not only high-profile acquisitions and investments in open source projects but also tech giants like Google and Facebook have placed importance on open source to attract new product innovations and build a huge developer community. Flutter vs React Native, PyTorch vs Tensorflow, Kubernetes, etc. are the best examples.
Ghidra, it’s not every day we see Government bureaus making their projects open source, and it was far away from my imagination to see and use the spy agencies program on my personal computer. NSA started back in 2014 to make a tool called “Niagarafiles (Nifi),” first open-source not only that but they were very proudly put “NSA Releases First in Series of Software Products to Open Source Community” as the title. And after that in the 2019 tool for cracking software or some call it reverse engineering tools were open to the public.
“NSA views on releasing Ghidra as a kind of recruiting strategy, making it easier for new hires to enter the NSA at a higher level or for cleared contractors to lend their expertise without needing to first come up to speed on the tool.” Said NSA cybersecurity adviser Rob Joyce
“The significance is that the product can be improved by the community instead of being solely funded by the NSA. The development of such a product is costly, and even the NSA doesn’t have unlimited funds. It’ll be a great demonstration of the value of open-sourcing internally developed projects.” Rob Graham, consultant, and owner at Errata Security. told Business Insider in a Twitter DM.
Companies and governments use open source because they understand even with big pockets are still highly costly, another aspect of Catalyst For Continuous Innovation, as the number of employees from a wide range of companies and backgrounds increases, the scope of technology innovation coverage will expand exponentially. Other than that Helps Build A Rich Developer Community, If a company doesn’t have open source in its DNA, it will be a big challenge to build a good relationship with the developer community. If you’re a big company like Microsoft, IBM, or Google, there are always a lot of people watching you. Everyone can read and criticize your code. Also, being open source means being open and transparent about release cycles and roadmaps, which takes a lot of effort and initiative.
And finally operating in open source requires companies to be leading members in how technology is built and how it evolves. This is achieved through collaboration and contribution to open-source software. Companies whose teams lead open source projects gain greater insight into how the technology is being built, where it is going, and why.
Throughout my personal opinion and experience, even companies and some Government bureaus chose open source but still some other business or academic institution, they are behind to take advantage of open source, live example during pandemic many universities rush their IT teams to build a fully online experience for the students. Most universities used 3rd party and hiring more developers. The greatest solution comes to mind what if a big community gathers to make an open-source CMS and LMS especially for an academic institution, wouldn’t be a great and powerful idea?