Serkan is a freelance software developer who has been developing web applications since 2001. Lately he has been working with Angular and ASP.NET. He shares that he has been studying sustainability of open source issues since 2014 and also shares the abridged version of how he came to be involved with the open source community.
Richard then asks Serkan to share more details on how he as a developer became interested in open source. He shares how as a developer working on proprietary software he often found himself working on similar solutions in different companies and he realized that he was building the same software solutions over and over. From this he concluded that open sourcing these types of projects would reduce the need to keep creating these projects by sharing the solutions between those that need them. Serkan points out the problem with the way open source works now is that it’s difficult to make money in it and as such he started looking for ways to fix this problem. He has the desire to find ways to move money from proprietary solutions into open source. Serkan asserts that the only real difference between proprietary software and open source software is licensing and furthermore that any software could be open source.
The next topic discussed by the panelists is the changes they’ve seen in the last five years for funding open source. Serkan highlights that he believes that many companies are coming to understand that the future is positive with open source and those companies are beginning to move that way. Richard responds by sharing the importance of building structures around funding developers who decide to open source their software.
Serkan moves the conversation to a deeper analysis of proprietary rights. The panelists discuss a survey of developers taken by Tidelift that shows that many professionals prefer open source software over proprietary software. The panelists then have a deeper discussion on what the reasons and drawbacks are for proprietary companies to turn open source. They also discuss how to create a tax of sorts that starts funding proprietary solutions turned open source and who would start that process.
The open source experts then discuss how it is difficult to convince individual companies to go open source because their focus is on growing their business and making their own software prosper. Serkan responds to this by saying that open source is an investment that can pay dividends in the long run. They also share ideas on how working with governments and individuals could help to facilitate the transition to greater worldwide involvement in open source and propel the software industry forward to supporting open source.
Serkan closes by reiterating some thoughts he shared earlier that governments are already involved in a wide range of programs that benefit all of its citizens. He shares how the sustaining of open source could be another program that is added to a government’s agenda and the opportunities that a government has to be of help in contrast to companies and individuals.
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