Open source is everywhere, notes SentryOne’s chief technology officer John Welch, but that doesn’t mean developers need to open everything up for businesses to get the benefits.
“Outside of supporting the projects that you use, it is worth considering whether you can open source some parts of your code,” Welch explains.
“Generally, if it’s not core to the application and it doesn’t give away a competitive advantage, this should be possible.”
Welch points to the example of SentryOne’s release of a .NET unit test generator extension for Visual Studio as open source. That was a tool SentryOne had created internally to make building unit tests easier.
“Although we find it very beneficial, it isn’t proprietary,” adds Welch.
Contributing to open source, or even financially supporting projects, helps keep open-source development alive, ensuring that the whole software community gets the benefits.
Helping open-source development can also reduce support and maintenance requirements for in-house developers.
“Additionally, it’s valuable for developers to contribute to open source. Doing so gives them exposure to coding practices and problem domains outside the scope of their normal work, which makes them better developers,” notes Welch.
Over time, individuals and teams can become more visible in the industry, which means chances to give their knowledge back and develop their careers, he says.
Overall, the benefits of supporting open source typically outweigh the investment, says Welch. Often, customers need to build or extend code anyway, so sharing it back to the open-source project doesn’t cost much more in terms of resources.
“Open source is a fact of life at most organisations today,” he says.
“My belief is that not all independent software vendors (ISVs) can or should release their software as open source. However, I do think that every organisation can and should contribute to open source.”
SentryOne, a database performance monitoring and dataops specialist, has been growing its channel partner network throughout 2020, sealing new deals with distributors (including QBS) across USA and EMEA.
Learn more via SentryOne’s new webinar library.