Taking Advantage of Open Source Projects

By Jason Baumgartner | January 27, 2017

There are a lot of benefits in using open source software when starting your next project.  Before diving into these amazing benefits, let’s first examine what the term “open source” means.  Quite simply, open source is software code that is open for inspection and modification and allows anyone to make contributions to its development.  An example of a well known open source project is PostgreSQL -- a relational database system that is widely used in many projects.  Anyone with some programming experience can make contributions to this and other open source projects.  It’s a great way to get involved in the community and gain recognition from others within the open source community.  It also is a great thing to add to your resume since it shows you are active in development and have some basic understanding of software development processes.


Besides PostgreSQL, there are other open source projects that have a lot to offer towards your next software project.  A few examples of other open source projects include Redis, Git, R, Vagrant and D3.  Redis is an open source in-memory data store that allows for extremely fast caching of data.  Git is a major version control system that is used by many software engineers to commit and track changes in their code.  R is a programming language used in statistical analysis and computing.  Vagrant is an application that allows for building portable virtual development environments that can be easily created to test specific builds.  Lastly, D3 is a data visualization package written in Javascript that allows for the creation of powerful data driven documents.

For more information about open source efforts, please check out these various open source consortiums:

Apache Software Foundation -- https://www.apache.org/foundation/
Linux Foundation -- https://training.linuxfoundation.org/
Free Software Foundation (FSF) -- https://www.fsf.org/about/
The Eclipse Foundation -- https://eclipse.org/org/
Document Foundation -- https://www.documentfoundation.org/