2016-08-29-trends-in-version-control-land-open-source.html.md 4.21 KB
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---
title: "Trends in Version Control Land: Open Source"
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categories: open source
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author: Sid Sijbrandij
author_twitter: sytses
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image_title: '/images/unsplash/sunset.jpg'
twitter_image: '/images/tweets/trends-in-version-control-land-open-source.png'
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---

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Earlier in this series, we explained how [innersourcing][post-1] can solve
common enterprise challenges, the benefits of
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[releasing early and often][post-2], and the efficiency of
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[microservices architecture][post-3]. In this final post, I’d like to
share my thoughts on an exciting new trend: **open source** practices expanding into a variety of industries.
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Over the past year, we've seen more and more companies are engaging with open source.
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It turns out that as more companies become comfortable with the implications
of open source - loosening control in exchange for more productive collaboration — open source is turning out to be an incredibly useful
solution in a number of industries. In fact, according to the 2016
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[Future of Open Source Survey][survey], **90%** of respondents say open source improves efficiency,
and **65%** contribute to open source projects.
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There's been a shift toward open source across the board, and there are a few key reasons why this is happening.
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**1. When a lot of people use it, open source just makes sense.**
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{: .alert .alert-success}
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When a lot of people use a program, there's greater opportunity
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to crowdsource feedback and solutions from users. Therefore, [going open source][open-source-who] offers
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a shortcut to improvement.

Software that’s used by the majority of a large company, for example, is
likely to become open source, as is software that’s very popular within a
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particular sector. More and more, enterprise infrastructure is becoming open
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source, including networking programs, security scanning, ERP, etc.

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**2. If a lot of companies use it, open source makes even more sense.**
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{: .alert .alert-success}
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When there’s a software solution that can serve a lot of different needs,
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and thus is adopted by [a lot of different companies][open-source-companies], then
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it will likely become open source. The same rule applies as above
(more users = shortcut to improvement), but broad international use
intensifies this effect, where having a strong reputation among developers
and the ability to facilitate collaborative development will drive interest
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in open source. We [saw this happen with, e.g., Linux][open-source-linux].
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**3. If it’s close to developers, it’ll become open source.**
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{: .alert .alert-success}
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Software that’s close to people who actually have the skill set to
improve on it is very likely to go open source. If a developer has
an issue with the software, they can scratch that itch and fix it,
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_bing-bang-boom!_ 💥 This is the beauty of open source. Not surprisingly,
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this happens most often in verticals like development tooling. It also
helps that in verticals that are close to developers, decision
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makers are likely to include those who understand the value of open
source, making it a faster leap.

Really, the only software that is likely to stay proprietary is something
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that is used by very small or specific groups. This includes verticals like oil and
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gas or healthcare. Although, even in [healthcare, open source is happening](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_open-source_health_software) — it’s
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just happening more slowly, and it may not affect everyone.
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Have you spotted a version control trend that you want to share or that
you’d like us to write about? Let us know! Comment or tweet at us [@GitLab].

<!-- Identifiers, in alphabetical order -->

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[@GitLab]: https://twitter.com/gitlab
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[open-source-companies]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_free_and_open-source_software_packages
[open-source-linux]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open-source_software#Open-source_software_development
[open-source-who]: http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/people-contribute-open-source-projects/
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[post-1]: /2016/07/07/trends-version-control-innersourcing/
[post-2]: /2016/07/21/release-early-release-often/
[post-3]: /2016/08/16/trends-in-version-control-land-microservices/
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[survey]: https://www.blackducksoftware.com/2016-future-of-open-source


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