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Introduction to Open-Source and its benefits
  • Difficulty Level : Expert
  • Last Updated : 05 Jan, 2021

What does Open-source mean?
The term Open-source is closely related to Open-source software (OSS). Open-source software is a type of computer software that is released under a license, but the source code is made available to all the users. The copyright holders of such software allow the users to use it and do some valuable modifications in its source code to add some new features, to improve the existing features, and to fix bugs if there are any. Because of this reason only Open-source software is mostly developed collaboratively.

Some famous examples of Open-source products are :

  • Operating systems –
    Android, Ubuntu, Linux
  • Internet browsers –
    Mozilla Firefox, Chromium
  • Integrated Development Environment (IDEs) –
    Vs code (Visual Studio Code), Android Studio, PyCharm, Xcode

Open-source community and Contributions :
The open-source community is a worldwide community of programmers and software developers who are continuously working on various open-source projects to make our lives better. This community is self-governing and self-organizing, there are no executives to take the decisions solely. This community plays a very crucial role in the sustainability of various open-source organizations.

The contributions made in any open-source project which improves its usability are called open-source contributions. These contributions can be of any form not only some software codes like we can work on improving its documentation, improving its UI/UX (user interface and design), organize meetups, or find new collaborators.

Benefits of Open-source contributions :

  • We code for real-world open-source projects.
  • It refines our existing knowledge of programming and also helps us to learn new skills.
  • Many open-source projects offer mentorship programs to guide and help us through our first few contributions.
  • We need not develop the whole thing from scratch, we just have to fork our favorite projects and start experimenting with them.
  • After making any open-source contribution, we get immediate feedback regarding our developmental work.
  • While doing open-source contributions, we interact with like-minded developers from all over the world and build connections along the way.
  • As we get more closer to the open-source community, we get to know much more about our field of interest and other related fields.
  • The most important aspect of open-source contributions is It may fetch us a job in our field of interest.

Hence, a large number of students are heading towards open-source contributions because these days quality open-source contributions in some good projects are seen as an alternative to the good internships with developer’s profile. The reason is we get the same kind of exposure to work and learn the required skills for software development like any good internships at Google or Microsoft.

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