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World moving towards open source



Today I was having an interesting conversation with one of my colleagues about the technology stack and how the world is moving towards more open source projects. During the discussion we discussed about the legacy products that we used to use in our company. There are still lots of products that are using old technology stacks and there is no scope for upgrade for all those old products. Some of the legacy products have already survived the technology advancements because of the strong backend it has. The scope is something like retaining the data, schema, metadata from the backend as it is along with the APIs that are already available and just to upgrade only the user interface.

I think most of the companies have been doing the same thing for all their legacy products. Only the products that doesn’t have such capabilities die. And, I also believe that it is the same case in all the other companies as well. While this transformation is happening everywhere, people are also looking forward to completely move towards open source options instead of using paid IDEs and paid development kits. For example, in order to build an application using the microsoft .net framework, there are lots of costing involved. Today there are alternative frameworks available for which you need not spend lots of money.

The availability of many alternatives has made people think more about open source. There is also a high possibility that in another decade, every single code available on the internet will be open source and people will choose which one is best and use it. Many multi-national companies have also started to encourage their employees to contribute more to open source projects.

Growth of Internet

The Internet is definitely a great boon for communication. I still remember the olden days where we have to study a huge book and memorize the syntax in order to build an application or to write a few lines of code. Those were the days where there will not be any suggestions from the IDE as well. Today we find it very difficult to code if there are no proper suggestions from the IDE. I’m still trying to imagine how people would have struggled in olden days to code.

With access to the internet, today coding and development has become a piece of cake for any developers. People make use of the internet to read the documentation and attend courses about various technologies. Not only for learning the purpose, but also the get some already available code. It is no longer a mandatory requirement to remember all the syntax. If someone is strong with the fundamentals, they can easily read the documentation and look for code online to complete their project. That is the reason why even in interviews people are testing only the analytical and logical thinking skills of a person instead of trying to corner someone with syntax and program codes. I also think that is the right way to conduct an interview in the modern world.

Availability of internet is the main reason for increase in open source projects. Some of the wonderful projects that used to cost a lot a decade ago are now available for free online. You can donate to such projects if you want to or else it is completely free and readily available. I’m still trying to imagine people who were initially ready to give their code to everyone for free. That is really a great revolution and that is the first step towards building a huge open source community.

Strategy of Microsoft

I usually always wonder why microsoft products are very costly even though there are alternative options available in the internet. The main reason can be something like they have a good reputation among the people and that is the reason why many companies trust microsoft products and go for it even though there are free options available in the market. Another reason why people choose a microsoft product was because of the support they provide for their products which was initially lacking for the opensource projects. Today with the growth of internet, I feel that even open source projects have so many contributors making it stable and reliable.

I would say that even today Microsoft is still strong with their strategy because when they found that people were moving away from .net applications to other open source options, they introduced .net core available to the community as an open source. It was a great move by the company. People who were comfortable with C# coding will now continue to code even after using node js. I’m just saying it at a high level but there many other parameters and restrictions as well. But in a way, the company decided to give something as open source itself is a great strategy. There are still non free products provided by the company that are unbeatable in the market. But there is a high possibility that they can even become open source soon.

Another strategy that Microsoft planned is the acquisition of GitHub. To be honest, GitHub is one of the most used version control system by all the coders and developers in the world. After the acquisition of GitHub by Microsoft many people decided to look for other alternatives. But then Microsoft decided to give private repositories for free and that made many people return back to GitHub. I would say that on a big picture, Microsoft has access to around 60 percent of the source codes available in the internet. If they plan it well, they can really do wonders with that.

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