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Keith Brewster
Keith Brewster

Posted on • Updated on

Does Your Workplace Encourage Open Source?

I recently attended a conference where Jason Lengstorf gave a talk called "You Belong Here: How to Make Open Source More Open". Over the course of the talk he labelled the ways the Gatsby team had encouraged OSS, and how to make it more accessible and inclusive to a greater audience of people. I was curious how many people are working for companies/teams that have this same attitude.

Does your workplace encourage you to contribute to open source? If they do, do they give you time during work hours for working on open source projects? Do they have any open source initiatives of their own?

Top comments (9)

loufranco profile image
Lou Franco

I would say, yes, they do support me working on open-source, but mostly as a way to get my job done. So, for work, I have fixed bugs in open-source projects we depend on and I have open-sourced some of our code (that I had to write for us -- the open-sourcing wasn't much more work).

Without asking, I could have forked the projects and fixed the bugs for us, but with a small process, I can just contribute it back (which is the preferable way, but requires some permission).

thiagoarrais profile image
Thiago Arrais

Without asking, I could have forked the projects and fixed the bugs for us, but with a small process, I can just contribute it back

AND also shares the burden of maintainance with the community, which makes total business sense even from a totally selfish point of view. Just imagine the cost of internally backporting lots of little patches.

gergelypolonkai profile image
Gergely Polonkai

We definitely do. I personally open sourced some tools we use, and we regularly contribute fixes and features to open source projects.

Obviously, internal stuff is first. But if we are in the middle of a slow period, i encourage colleagues to

  • Refactor our code for performance
  • Write extra documentation
  • Write new open source stuff or contribute to existing ones they like

(not necessarily in this order).

Also, in such cases they are not limited to projects we benefit from because, on the long run, this can give them more ideas and insight of the languages they use.

brewsterbhg profile image
Keith Brewster

This is exactly the kind of thing I was hoping companies were doing!

matteojoliveau profile image
Matteo Joliveau

Yes. We both contribute to some projects we use and open-source our own stuff, like our time tracking web application, Ruby clients for OneSignal and the League of Legends API and some other minor projects.

elmuerte profile image
Michiel Hendriks

Not really. All of our software is based on Open Source, but I am the only one contributes and gives back. The rest cannot even bother to file a bug if they think they found one.

Most developers do not care at all about Open Source, and neither does the company.

ldrscke profile image
Christian Ledermann

Contributing back to projects we use is not a problem, I do it regularly. Open sourcing in house projects is a bit of jumping thru hoops getting sign offs, etc. (but it is easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission)

rhymes profile image
rhymes • Edited

This very site is open source. I'm lucky to work on it so I'd definitely say that DEV is a company that believes in OS...

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brewsterbhg profile image
Keith Brewster

DEV being open source is what drove me here in the first place! (also Medium's terrible pay wall)