Open source has become the de facto way to build open source programs not only in technology but also across diverse industries. Companies use their source code programs to build their own commercial products and services as they also need strategic value of contributing back to the society. But diving into open source programs without proper understanding of how the projects and communities operate can lead to frustrations for the companies as well as the open source communities. Github is very important to open source communities as it is home to over 40million developers working together to host, review and manage software together.
Why contribute to open source
It might be impossible to find an organization that doesn’t benefit from open source software. Companies like Intel, IBM and Samsung have entire open source programs devoted to contributing to open source communities. Many companies such as Tinder, Bumble, OkCupid rely on open source software since it is critical to the success of the company. Since its inception more than 13,500 developers along with more than 1,300 companies have contributed to the Linux Kernel.
As much as most of these contributions come from organizations that want to give back to the community. There are plenty of strong business reasons to contribute to open source software projects within the organizations.
When you rely on open source software the best place to find people who know about the project is inside and outside the community. Whenever you work publicly in the community you get to attract individuals who view that they can work on their favorite open source project and get paid. Whenever the employees of a company are working alongside open source professionals then they can help the company identify good fits for the company.
Another importance of Github to open source communities is low maintenance cost. Companies that start fixing bugs or add new features and functionality to open source projects without giving them back to the upstream project end up with a great challenge of upgrading or adding security features that may drive maintenance cost to the roof. Installing those changes to the mainstream project will automatically include future updates without having to incur additional features.
When it comes to open source projects new features and functionality come from contributions that are inevitably influences the projects direction. In case you want a project that offers functionality that is important to your organization then you need to have contributors who can implement potential changes. Free Fuckbook App and other hookup apps utilize this collaboration often in order to implement a hive mind when creating new functions to improve UX and UI on their platforms.
How open source projects are managed
At first glance open source projects may look to be very chaotic however, people who are new to open source often wonder how group of random people can make codes separately and end up with the same product. Almost every open source project has the same structure and the best projects governance have clearly described. The exact governance model varies widely across the projects and there are some commonalities:
- There should be a leader who is responsible for making the final decisions regarding features, releases as well as other activities. In most cases it is a single person.
- Most of the leader’s delegate some of the decisions to individuals who are responsible form maintaining specific parts of the project. These people are known as maintainers.
- Some projects also have groups of people who have contributed to the project and considered reliable and responsible to be allowed to commit to some parts of the project.
- There are a lot of people who are contributors to open source projects which have code documentation. These contributions are usually subject to review from an experienced committer.
- Users are the most important part of the group to the growth and development of an open source project. The users basically give the project a purpose and help it evolve. The valuable features of the community in this case are able to provide feedback about certain features, bug reports among many more.
There is one underlying theme in regards to open source projects and the underlying factor is that every project is different. Every time you join an open source project keep it in mind that you will to spend some quality time around the project and get to understand how it works.
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