My coding journey began about a year ago when I set out to build a tool to help manage my company. Like most people starting to learn how to code, I was drawn to Github and open-source software.
As I started to go down this rabbit-hole, I discovered a plethora of repos and the amazing developers maintaining them.
After seeing (and starring) all these repos, the amount of time and effort these developers put into these projects was astounding. But what was the incentive? They were not getting paid and most profiles didn’t even include the developer’s real name or avatar.
Then it dawned on me: these developers built these projects because they themselves needed them and they open-sourced it because they knew others would too.
Most times, a commercial option was available, but these developers had the creator’s mentality: I can build it better. Being open-source further accelerated this since more people could look at the code and contribute to make it better.
Why choose open-source
You’re wondering why you should choose open-source projects over established companies that solve the same problem.
You own the data
Open-source software can be self-hosted and your data will be on your servers. No company will be able to mine your data or use it to bolster their own business.
Although most commercial software have a free tier, the higher tiers can get quite expensive. These companies subsidize the free accounts by paid ones.
Commercial software companies normally do not let you customize their software unless you go to the enterprise tier. With open-source, you can make the software adapt to your business as you scale and avoid vendor lock-in.
Open-source enables communities to build software collaboratively. This means the software is battle-tested over time by people who built it and use it.
Unlike commercial companies, open-source software is normally not funded, has little to no marketing budget, and is built by a single developer or small team. What makes it great is that it is a meritocracy. Its success is dependent on how good the software is and how much value it provides to users.
The reasons stated above is why I believe that open-source software will be able to overcome commercial companies in the long run. If you believe that too, be sure to support by starring the repos on Github and giving them a try on your next project.