What Is Open-Source Software? (+The Benefits and Risks)
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Andrew Zangre Andrew Zangre
What Is Open-Source Software? (+The Benefits and Risks)
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The concept of open-source technology has only been in the mainstream since the early 2000s. Its origins date back to the introduction of Linux in 1991. The respective launches of Ruby on Rails and Hadoop in 2004 and 2006 were watershed moments, with the latter eventually welcoming contributions from companies like Twitter and eBay. It also helped usher in the era of big data software.

Up to this point, tech innovators would keep their cards close to the vest. But these stories shined a light on the potential for inter-company collaboration, and set the tone for the decade to come. Developers can now use others' code to improve their own offerings, and vice versa.

Fast forward a few years, and open source is everywhere. In 2018, there was an estimated $57 billion of value creation in open-source IPOs, mergers and acquisitions. The Linux Foundation, one of the cornerstones of open sourcing, reports a 432% increase in membership over the past five years.

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