2021 has been a difficult year for almost everyone or was it? Think about the tech industry for a second. It has not changed or for that matter, it has been booming, with online classes, virtual events - streaming weddings to funerals online, work from home, virtual interviews, and many more. The tools used for such purposes are usually commercial and the source codes for these tools are proprietary. These proprietary source codes are closed source and are not open to everyone. And I believe this raises several questions while using a company’s tool, many related to morale and some even related to security. How can one be sure if the company is doing what they say they do and they don’t do what they should not. We can be sure of it if the code is open for review, but that so often is not the case.
There is also an alternate world to this super-secret closed source proprietary code, which is the world of open source. First of all, I welcome those who are new to the open-source community. Open-source software is built using open-source codes that are available for anyone to review and work on. This software is usually free to use under a user license. Therefore, in my opinion, it is secure and you get to know what is happening on the other end before you go on to submitting your address and phone number. Open source is cool, fun, and best of all, it is FREE. Who will want to go and pay for a bar of chocolate made by someone else, when the same chocolate is available for free and you got to be a part of making that chocolate (sounds fun right).
I always suggest people to stick to open source software and the tech world is full of them, please do not fall trap by the attractive marketing campaigns run by the big corporates. If you are someone from a technical background make sure to contribute to your favorite open source projects that are available online. This is the way to put your degree to use, yeah I mean it. I know a lot of you will do hardcore math and learn complex algorithms in your college, only to find that you will have to spend more time making colorful PowerPoint presentations in your corporate jobs than using your skills. Contributing to open-source projects not only enables you to make a good connection with people with the same frequency of developing innovative technology but also helps you to learn the latest technological components put to use by the pros.
Hacktober is a fest for the people from the open-source community organized (not exactly. well, it is complicated) by the folks from DigitalOcean which runs the month-long in October every year. This year it celebrates its 8th year in succession. I highly encourage everyone to participate in this year’s Hacktober fest which is already live, to get the feel of the open-source world, one that is made by people who really love and care about creating new technologies. Yeah, I almost forgot to mention, It also helps you with your job search, now that the big players including Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and many more are actively participating in open source contributions.