What is Open Source?

Let's take a look at what open source means and how you can get involved.

What is Open Source?
What is Open Source?

The term open source refers to that can be modified and shared because it's publicly available.

It first came about in relation to software development, but today it means much more.  It's used more broadly.  Open source these days celebrate some key principles, such as collaboration, transparency, and community-oriented development.

What is open source software?

With open source software ANYONE can take the source code, inspect it, modify it and enhance it.

Is open source software free?

This is open a misconception.  Open source software is not always free. Open source creators can charge for the software or they can ask for contributions.  

You will often find that open source software is free though.  For open source software creators having their skills showcased publicly can help them gain notoriety, or even employment.

For the end users of open source software there can be pros and cons of using it.  It can be a create opportunity to find software to solve a problem you might have at a reasonable price, but sometimes it can be hard to get the necessary support when needed.

Beyond software

As I said though, open source is much more than just software nowadays.  The principles of open source can be applied to so many more projects.

There has been a cultural change in the way people and organisations want to work.  The future is very much collaboration and people want to be a part of that.  

Recently we've seen the creation of projects such as 100 days of Kubernetes, 90 days of DevOps or EddieHub.  Where learning in public and collaborating with the community on that learning journey is encouraged.

Sharing what you are doing and asking for others thoughts, experiences and guidance in an open source or community way is a GREAT way to learn and meet new people.

If you can make a project you are working on open source, then I would really encourage you to do that.  Whether it's a small script you've written or if it's a study plan for your next certification.  Everyone will benefit.

Share open source projects

Do let me know what your favourite open source projects are, I'd love to find new ones to use or learn from.