Why do people make open source software?
There are a lot of practical reasons why people choose to produce open source software. The open source
community is an active one, and because of this, open source software benefits from peer review. Code is
regularly checked, reviewed and improved upon by a community of peers.
Developers also prefer to make open source software for practical reasons too. Open source software is free.
Many developers believe in the libertarian ideas of open and free software and that software should be
something akin to free speech or free expression.
Another reason developers prefer open source is transparency. Many developers want to know exactly what’s
happening with their data and open source software puts everything out in the open, giving people the power
to see exactly what’s going on behind the scenes.
Developers also enjoy the benefit of reliability in open source software. Proprietary code created by a
single author or company is often at the mercy of that author or company. Waiting for an update to fix a
critical problem can be problematic. And this is a two-way street too: for developers who don’t want to be
hindered by making themselves the sole designator of fixes and additions to their software, open source
provides an excellent solution.
Open source software also offers much more flexibility than traditional closed-source software. Software
needs vary across industries and markets and oftentimes a particular product fails to meet the needs of a
particular company or venture. The flexibility of open source means that you can utilize a platform that’s
already been built and modify it to meet your specific needs.
At the end of the day, developers make open source software because they believe in what it stands for: an
open and collaborative effort that transcends barriers to create something that benefits the public.