Open source may seem like the greatest thing since sliced bread to some developers, leading to the growth of a healthy and expanding community of highly involved professionals. However, some developers appear to actively avoid open source, shying away from the larger communities and avoiding projects that embrace open source code.
While it may seem odd that a highly skilled developer would give open source the cold shoulder, there are numerous reasons why this happens. If you are wondering why so many developers avoid open source, here’s what you need to know.
They Are Intimidated
Surprisingly, many developers are actually intimidated by open source. While starting anything new can be scary, many worry that they don’t have the right skills to contribute effectively.
This sense of doubt around their abilities leaves them fearful. Often, the idea of being criticized by their peers, especially those with significant experience in open source, makes joining these communities particularly daunting, and many opt to stay away entirely.
However, many of the communities are actually incredibly open. People willingly share their advice and are often more than happy to help. Typically, there’s a feeling of everyone facing a challenge together, but developers only discover this after they make the leap.
They Don’t Know Where to Begin
Another common issue surrounding open source is a lack of clear pathways on how to get started. Finding a point of entry isn’t always easy, especially because the communities are vast and many of the discussions are long-standing, filled with notes and contributions.
Figuring out where to start contributing isn’t intuitive. However, in many cases, the best approach is just to jump in and put yourself out there. Every contribution can provide someone with value, so there really isn’t a reason to wait for a “perfect moment” that probably will never arrive.
They Need More Support
While companies are asking developers to do more with open source, not all of them are providing their staff with the support they need. It takes time and resources to make the most of open source, so ensuring that workers have what they require is essential to success.
Similarly, many businesses shy away from open source until it is extremely well-vetted. This means, even if an employee finds an amazing solution, management isn’t open to discussing it unless it is already widely adopted. The lack of interest ends up discouraging some developers from diving deeper into the world of open source, creating a scenario where missed opportunities are almost guaranteed to occur.
Ultimately, open source options are nearly always worth exploring. However, developers need to learn to set their fears aside and simply jump into the conversations while companies need to focus on being open-minded about what these solutions could potentially offer. Then, and only then, will more professionals and organizations be able to realize the potential of open source.
If you are interested in learning more, the team at The Armada Group would be happy to answer your questions. Contact us today to speak with one of our skilled staff members and see how our expertise can benefit you.