Summer of Love is over and the winter is coming. What happens to open source at Futurice now? Luckily, Summer of Love isn’t the only open source program we have at Futurice. SoL is only a part of a bigger program called Spice Program.
Contributing to open source isn’t always the easiest thing to do in consulting. Sometimes it’s hard to justify publishing changes to a project that isn’t owned by the client. That’s why we’ve created contract term templates about open source for our clients that clearly state why it’s a good thing to contribute. We try our best to make contributing to open source as easy as possible for our employees.
During the summer we open sourced various projects:
We’ve now also moved our development of internal systems almost completely to open source, so there are lots of other projects that we haven’t yet publicly advertised.
Internal development in the open
Our main goal for moving our internal development in the open is to gain contributions from people outside our IT team and also outside the company. Now it’s much easier for our employees to contribute to our internal development since it’s all available at GitHub. There is no need to talk with some developer first before improving a tool. We might get some good publicity out of this, which would also be valuable.
Also by moving our development from private to public we hope to enforce the mindset of open source into our internal projects. In the future they will hopefully see more universal use. Previously most of our projects have been developed in a rush and left in that condition, since they are working in that particular environment. This often makes it hard to do modifications to the project later on. In the future this will improve.
We believe that moving our internal development to open source will improve our internal development community and do good for the world. So far many people have been very interested in our open source contributions and hopefully in the future there will be even more interest and improvements to our projects. We believe in a company where the open source culture is valued and encouraged. In my opinion, contributing to an open source project is a contribution to a better world.
Learning and culture
Contributing to open source projects makes us proud and there is no reason for the company to not let it show. We learned that although people are really interested in the cause, participating requires a lot of time. We, as a company, have to create such conditions where it’s easy for an employee to contribute to open source and encourage that behavior, since in the long run it will help Futurice a lot.
Our employees can now have a go at this with the systems they use on a daily basis. People new to open source now have a friendly environment for getting started. This will probably not happen by itself, we need to encourage people.
In the end, open source isn’t about releasing apps for free, but the culture of collaboration and openness. No problem is big enough and only by collaborating together can we make the world a better place. That is the culture we try to nurture at Futurice and seek new ways of making Futurice the best possible place to work at. I believe that our open source culture will become a major advantage in recruitment and sales.
I will continue working with Spice Program, so you’ll hear about me in the future as well. Thank you all for this summer!