Open-Source Software

The power of contributing to OSS ⌨️

What is Open-Source Software (OSS)? 🤔

OSS shares similarities with free software but it’s not the same.

Free software is a form of OSS, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it has to be free. For example:

  • PHPUnit is an example of OSS which is free.
  • Spryker is an example of OSS which is not free.

OSS is basically software that is public, open to the world.

Benefits — for a company 🛕

  • Adoption: the easier the access, the easier the adoption.
    Training and tutorials help the system to grow.
  • Tech: often on the cutting edge of technology.
    Tech moves fast. They will get obsolete if they don’t.
  • Community: the people around want to improve as it grows.
    Public channels enable easy access and community building.
  • Trust: the software is public and accessible.
    Everyone can check the quality of the software anytime.

Benefits — for you, as a single contributor 🤓

  • Flexibility: decide on what you want to work on.
  • Self-confidence: the experience improves your skills.
  • Training: without the pressure of a PROD environment.
  • Tech: play with the latest features of your tech.
    Try upcoming versions of your coding lang, or even try new ones!
  • Soft skills: improve your communication skills.
    Good communication in the project is important.
    Especially when you face disagreements.

TL;DR: It can be a “constant kata” if you want to.

Github to the rescue 😃

Nowadays, it’s really trivial to start contributing to OSS:

  • You can start your own project. A pet project fits here perfectly!
  • You can contribute to an existing OSS project.

Pet projects 🐘

A pet project is a playground to create software and train your professional skills. Creating pet projects in your public Github profile has all the benefits of contributing to OSS, plus you’re your own boss:

  • You dictate the roadmap.
  • You decide what to do and how.
  • You’re your own boss.

The project is there for you.
You are responsible to play, explore and pass your limits.

Some Chema’s Pet Projects 🦣

Active

Inactive

Abandoned

  • knob-mvc: a framework to create WordPress templates (2015/2017).

Some of Chema’s OSS org contributions 🌚

Active

  • phel-lang: Phel is a functional programming language that compiles to PHP. It is a dialect of Lisp inspired by Clojure and Janet.
    I already wrote a post about phel-lang: Phel: A Lisp that compiles to PHP
  • gacela-project: Gacela is a PHP framework that helps you to improve the design of your application by splitting the logic into different modules.

Abandoned

  • nm_template: The base template for NuevaMetal (2013–2016).

Knowledge sharing ✍️

… and many more on https://medium.com/@Chemaclass

The beauty of this… 🧑‍🎓

  • Seeing the corrections that you constantly keep doing
  • Seeing how your own code gets old with time
  • Seeing the many mistakes that you have done
  • Seeing how you are getting better at coding over time

Developing a sixth sense to smell patterns which you have already done and their positive & negative experiences.

Showing your skills and helping the community around you.

Open-Source Software offers you one of the best opportunities to start building your career path towards continuous improvement.

References

My talk about OSS in PHPMad Madrid (April 2021) in Spanish

Aka: Chema. I love writing about stuff that I find interesting and bring some value to my life, so I can share them with you. https://chemaclass.es

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