Top Open Source Myths Revealed

Top Open Source Myths Revealed

Anita Ihuman
·May 7, 2021·

5 min read

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I have heard so many speculations about Open Source Softwares from people who do not have a clear understanding of how Open Source works. These assumptions have made it hard to discern what the underlying truth is. I was made to believe some of them and I bet You did too. In this article, we will debunk some of the myths you must have heard about Open Source Softwares.

Let us take a look at some of these myths and see if you still believe these Open Source speculations:

  • Open Source is all about writing code

    You must have heard that to contribute to Open Source, one must be an expert with code. That is but far from the truth. Don't get me wrong, your coding skills are welcomed in Open Source Projects. The thing is, Open Source projects and initiatives are really vast and encourage collaborative participation so, a successful organisation is put together by numerous technical skills and that includes Designing, Software proficiency, Technical writing, Project management, Data analysis. and several more. For more information on how else you can get involved in open source, check this link

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  • You are doing free work

    A major turn off for most persons with intentions of getting into Open Source is that it is considered free work. So you would probably be wondering why you should make contributions and not expect financial compensations?. Yes, most Open source projects are put together by the passion of the development teams, it doesn't necessarily mean they are working for free. Open Source collaboration is a great way to enhance your technical skills and up your resume. You get an opportunity to connect with established programmers and developers all around the world when working on Open Source Projects. Also, if you come up with a project idea and Open Source it, the software may be useful enough to draw corporations into sponsoring developers to make sure they won’t abandon that project. For more information on why Open source is not completely free check this link

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  • Open Source is Difficult To Maintain

    Imagine you owned a Start Hotel and want to single-handedly manage the running of the Hotel. That is to say, you will be the management employee, maintenance employee, kitchen and wait staff (if the hotel has a restaurant), housekeeping staff, front desk employee, security etc. Phew! that is almost unachievable. In the case of Open Source Projects, the collaborative contribution from the community members with the help of Open Source project management tools, make maintaining the projects feasible. Unlike running a five-star hotel single-handedly which can be considered a hard nut to crack.

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  • Open Source is for Linux Users

    Once Open Source is talked about, the quick and common assumption about it is that Open Source Softwares only runs on the Linux operating system which means it is strictly for Linux users. Shockingly, it might interest Windows or Mac users to know that some of your favourite programs are actually Open Source. That is to say, Open source programs can also work perfectly on your Operating system(OS) even if you do not use an Open source OS. Open Source Softwares are not just limited to just Linux freaks and geeks, it's for everyone.

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  • Big Software Companies Don’t Use Open Source

    Several persons still believe that open sourcing is only for amateurs and independent organisations. Well to clear that doubts, did you know that Microsoft open-sourced their .NET Framework, a move that is still a topic of discussion amongst programmers. Then, Apple followed suit and open-sourced their Swift programming language. Then consider all the Open-Source related moves that are done by Google, Amazon, and Red Hat, Convinced yet?.

  • Open Source Less Secure than Proprietary Software.

    If you still believe that idea of Open Source is not secure unlike proprietary code, then you should have a rethink. This is because, in Open Source Software, you are working alongside over a hundred developers( experts in the field) who have all invested time and effort to achieve the overall quality and security of the project. Moreover, because there are so many hands striving to see the progress of the project, spotting a security risk would easier and faster.

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  • You can do whatever you want with open source

    Most people feel that the fact that Open Source is code is made freely available to the public means that they could do as they please. Well, Yes, you can freely use, modify and distribute these Softwares(the BSD and MIT licenses) but you should also know that Open Source Institute formed almost 80 different types of license that can suit every possible situation. That means there are limitations to what you can do with Open Source code.

No, You can't do whatever you want with Open Source code.

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  • You must be an expert to get involved.

    I have heard several people who are new to programming say,

Open Source is for experts, I am not skilled enough.

It is undoubtedly true that most participants in Open Source have been in the field for years, but then one of the concepts of Open Source is Diversity. This entails that regardless of your level of expertise, your contributions to the Open Source Community will be welcomed. I mean, even if you have just one month of experience, so long as you are willing and able to suggest, attempt issues and engage in Open Source communities, you are good to go.

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Conclusion

Now, do you see that all that you must have heard or been told concerning Open Source Softwares which most likely discouraged you from getting involved in the first place are all just a huge misconception that people have?. For more information about getting started with Open source check this link. I hope this article is convincing enough to get you started with Open Source.

Goodluck!!

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