One Year of Gratitude — Day 15

Photo by Lee Campbell on Unsplash

Today I am thankful for all the people who contribute to open source projects. For anyone who isn’t familiar with open source, allow me to explain. Open source software contains source code that anyone can inspect, change, and enhance. (paraphrased from http://opensource.com). Sometimes people confuse this with shareware. Not the case. Shareware is just software that’s free to use. Or, it is software with a trial version. Open source software is free to use and there is no expectation the user will pay for it. It is a community effort.

Why am I thankful for open source? First of all, I know of no other industry that supports itself this way. Open source removes all the red tape and barriers to growth. It has helped our industry grow at lightening speed. Open source projects allow new members of our community to learn the trade. And finally, because open source software is a big part of my job. Git. Linux. MySQL. PostgreSQL. Ruby on Rails. PHP. Apache. Firefox. Gimp. Open Office. AngularJS. React. jQuery. Sass. These are all open source projects. Wanna see? Here is the React source code. You can download it. You can edit it. You can use it. At some point in my career, I’ve used all the things mentioned above. This doesn’t even scratch the surface of what’s available in the open source community. It’s pretty huge!

Is open source perfect? No. Nothing is. Is it better than paid software? Sometimes, but not always. Do some people rally against open source endeavors? Of course they do. Is it great for me? Yes. Am I thankful for it’s existence. You betcha!

And that’s your gratitude for the day…