Embracing the GNU - Linux, Openness & its lessons

Originally published on LinkedIN

This being my first post here, decided to start right where I started from. Professionally, my particular area of experience probably lies more in getting organisations & industry to embrace the benefits of Linux, Open Source and side step any pitfalls.

It is fun, action packed, fast paced stuff. Today’s IT Industry, has an ever growing need for constant innovation pitted against being commercially viable. The challenge is just that.

Balance out delivery vs cutting edge.
Balance out "Act first, then think" vs "Think first, then act ".

As always, answers can be found somewhere in the middle.

The freedictionary defines "Openness" amongst others as:

Accessible to all; unrestricted as to participants: an open competition.
Free from limitations, boundaries, or restrictions: open registration.

Openness It is very encouraging, to anyone eager. The rules, by and large, are simple. "Roll up your sleeves and join us in getting stuff done". It is available to everyone.

It is also tough-love, in a nice way.

A high degree of quality is expected. When your name is against your code, and publicly visible, you learn very quickly, to code to the required standard. This "quality" goes beyond just code, extending to interactions with people. Community members, hail from every walk of life, and from every corner of the globe.

Transparency ensures longevity There is often a perceived danger here. That is changing now, but a fear at large still persists. Truth is, we all demand transparency in our everyday lives, without realising it. From our working lives to our governments, transparency makes us as a public at large, feel safe. For example when making a cash payment, as a means of trust, cash is often counted in front of you. That is a means of developing and ensuring trust in the transaction. Why should software be any different?

GNU|Linux|Open Source or whatever you want to call it, is essentially, that. The tools, methods, techniques adopted by those involved may vary as much as the people themselves. The goals, are still to promote quality code, that is suitable for its users. This method just aims to be more encompassing whilst trying to achieve the same goals. Yes there will be issues. When a flaw is spotted, it is taken seriously, fixes usually follow quickly.

The code lives on, as long as there is a need for it. But only as long as their is a need for it, evolution at very finest perhaps.

Companies, with huge budgets now embrace it. That’s a good thing. It shows that the quality being produced, is being appreciated, where it really matters commercially. By those whose primary concerns are whether or not it suits. If it does not work, they will simply choose the next best tool available.

This "perceived weakness", is actually its single largest strength.

I end here, with a huge thank you, to anyone and everyone, who has in anyway, contributed. I look forward to working & learning, with all of you.

(me rambling on in twitter: 1and0)