Open-Sourcing Jewelbots

I’ve written about open-sourcing code before. I think opening up your source code is great from many perspectives, and I’ve always wondered why companies (and individuals) don’t put more of their source code out there.

Open-sourcing code helps you to:

  • build trust
  • give your developers a way to be recognized publicly for their effort
  • show others how to (or how not to) build a light bulb
  • generate public dialogue; which is sorely lacking in most for-profit enterprises
  • fulfill part of the requirements of being purpose driven

We talk a lot about the declining culture in tech, but corporations don’t do enough to help correct it. It’s strange, the people who have the money to help change the culture either don’t know that they should be good stewards or don’t place a priority on it. That means that we have to rely on non-profit foundations to promote good values instead of the companies that have the financial wherewithal to promote change.

When I joined Jewelbots, one of the things that drew me to the company were that we were a profit-seeking entity that puts changing the culture in tech and open source front and center. These are not ancillary goals. We can’t entice young women to learn to program if we don’t work to fix the environment that will eventually drive them away.

Talk is cheap, right? Yea. It is.

That’s why today, I’m announcing that our public-facing software is going to be open-source: Our website, Our app, and our firmware. The website is open-source now, with the app and firmware to follow after their release.

The code will be licensed under the New BSD license. The copyright and trademarks will remain under the control of Jewelbots.

In areas of our product where open sourcing the code would be detrimental to our users, we will instead have that code audited by security professionals. We want closed source software to be the exception, rather than the rule.

If you’re interested in seeing what we’re working on, please visit our Github page, and always feel free to open an issue or submit a pull request if you see something we can improve upon. I’m not promising it will always be sunshine and rainbows, but I am promising we’ll be as transparent as we can be.