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what is open source
Nick Verbeet - COONick Verbeet
April 21, 2021

What is open source and why is it important?

Most of the code we write for our customers remains completely secret. That makes sense, you could say, you don’t want someone else to run off with your software right? Yet that is a shame, because by making separate components 'open source' available to others, your code will benefit from it! Curious how that works? In this article I will discuss what open source is exactly and why it is so important to you as a customer, to us and to the rest of the world.

What is open source?

When we talk about open source, we are talking about projects of which the source code is publicly available. Anyone can view, modify and use that code to their own liking and insight for their own projects. Open source projects are all around you. For example, the Android operating system that you see on Samsung phones is open source. But even if you use a website that’s made with Wordpress (about 75 million websites) or view a page on Wikipedia, you use open source software. 

We also use open source in our digital products. Almost all of our projects use various smaller open source components. For example, we use open source components to regulate the security applications, or to read large amounts of data. This not only saves time, it also ensures better quality - we'll get to how that works later in this article!

The development of open source projects is often slightly different than regular projects. In normal projects, teams are usually managed centrally by an organization who decides when time is spent on the project. This is different with open source projects. The whole community is in charge of the project, so everyone is free to make suggestions for improving the code.

Why is open source important?

Open source projects form the basis of many software products and therefore have a major impact on our daily lives. Open source offers a number of important advantages over closed source and it is therefore not surprising that the use of open source is becoming increasingly popular. Below are some of the most important benefits.

Faster development

An advantage of using open source projects is that the development of new projects is much faster. After all, code that has already been written by others and made public does not need to be created all over again. That saves a lot of time - and therefore costs - in the development of new products!

Better quality

Popular open source components are often of good quality, as many people who use them also make suggestions on how to make them even better. People with diverse expertise and backgrounds can inspect and improve the code. That benefits the quality. Instead of a single team in an organization, the whole world is involved in the development.

More diversity

The group of developers working on an open source project often has a more diverse composition than the average company. Many different cultures and expertise meet in the open source community. Nigeria, Hong Kong and Saudi Arabia are the three countries where the open source community is growing the fastest in the world

Much transparency

With open source projects, not only the code is public, but also the discussion around it. Everyone can therefore also contribute to that discussion and contribute new ideas and insights. This reduces the chance of unforeseen and undesired effects of changes to the code.

How does Dutch Coding Company contribute to open source?

Open source is extremely important in the world we live in today and offers great advantages. We as Dutch Coding Company not only want to make use of this, but also make an active contribution. That is why we are becoming more and more active within the open source community. We do this by developing open source components ourselves and by adding features and ideas to existing open source projects.

Curious about what we are going to publish? We have already published some nice open source components on our Github page . From a note function for management systems to a code package that can read data at high speed. Keep an eye on our blog and Twitter account for the latest updates of our open source contributions.

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