Open source is about a lot more than slapping the right license on your code.


Hi it’s Keir Finlow-Bates here, and
today I want to talk about the building of stuff – specifically the building of
open source software. Now I think a lot of developers have this misguided idea
that if you write some software and you open source it and you put it on Github
and you slap a GPL or an Apache version 2 license on it, then it’s
somehow going to take off – but I can tell you from personal experience that that
isn’t the case. There is an awful lot more to producing a valuable piece of
open-source software than just pushing the code out there, and actually if you
are a developer I do recommend that you have a shot at setting up your own
little open-source project, because you’ll find that: firstly, once you’ve
written the code and you’ve sorted out the license then there’s a whole thing
such as a code of conduct for people to participate, you need to advertise your
project so you need to find out where people who might find it of use hang out
and let them know that it’s there. You need to grow and nurture a community
around it and make sure that you actually start getting contributors,
rather than it just being you who’s working on it, and finally there’s an
awful lot of luck as well: finding the right people doesn’t just mean finding
where they hang out it also means producing the software in the
programming language that those people like, and making sure that it looks slick
and professional enough that they think that this might actually go somewhere
and it’s worth inputting their time in. Because when it comes to open-source, yes
it’s free, except for the time that people spend on it, and time does
effectively equate to money for people so ultimately it’s not really free.
However as I said: do give it a shot, go and find out what is actually needed in
order to launch an open-source project that is successful. There’s a lot more to
it than just a few files of code, and it’s a great learning experience. Plus it
educates you in software development in general. A lot of the lessons you learn
from that will actually carry over into commercial private software
production, and it may actually help you with your career. So that’s today’s post,
hope you found it interesting. See you in the next video soon. Bye for now!

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