The global community of open-source developers is the backbone of innovations in a number of different fields, including automotive, healthcare, and climate tech.
In order to maintain today’s software and create the future of software, large organizations need to expand their collaboration with the open-source community.
To sustain the number of developers maintains and contributors, companies need to increase their involvement in the open source community. Three ways they can do this include:
The first step to going down the pathway of open-source is understanding how your company interacts with open-source software.
Do you know if your organization has had any experience with open-source developers? Do your teams have dedicated resources internally to learn about the collaboration and processes of these projects?
It can often be time-consuming and tedious to get approval to use a new open source component in large organizations, leading developers to make less of an effort on their own upstream contributions.
Making a few efforts to open-source code, developers will have an easier time releasing open-source code. Companies should also make the guidelines for creating open-source projects lighter and then there will be an accelerated approval process and it will help determine what good maintenance and governance mean to them.
The open-source program office should provide you with a structured way to manage your company’s participation in open source.
By creating an open-source program office (OSPO), you can undermine barriers in departments and grow faster. An official OSPO helps with processes so that teams can focus on prioritizing achievement or innovation.
Program offices also help increase organizations’ trust in open source, and reduce developer frustrations. Startups and large organizations can use this type of office to manage their open source projects at a large scale. They are the go-to for answers for those in the developer community who have questions about open source work.
One way to get started with an OSPO is to turn to experts such as developers, engineers and program managers, who have all spearheaded projects that lead to the successful launch of special projects. The TODO group is one example of a network that provides case studies, guides, how-tos and surveys to assist organizations in establishing an OSPO.
Support developers and the open-source community with sponsorships and investments
When open-source software has vulnerabilities, developers from across the community dedicate their time and resources to help find a fix quickly. This is because many companies rely on open-source code libraries and when they have issues, these developers can dedicate relevant time and energy with no personal cost to help fix them.
There are many options available to donate money to open source projects and developers. One way that you can do this is by giving sponsorship to the developers’ projects so they can have financial support. With many options available, like Outreachy, Open Collective, GitHub Sponsors, and several foundations like Linux Foundation, OpenJS and more, supporting open source is easier than ever.
Open-source projects are driving innovation in many software except for a few key areas. Corporations that rely on open-source projects should do more to encourage and collaborate to keep the two-way street going.
With an open-source strategy, organizations are able to deliver exceptional experiences at an accelerated pace, engage the developer community, and contribute to the future of software by implementing open-source initiatives.
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