Why Do People Contribute to Open-Source Projects?

An open-source project is software that anyone is free to use, modify, study, and distribute. The copyright owner of an open-source project grants the public free, all-purpose access to the source code.

Open-source project development is the future. For the users, open-source is a blessing since it is free to use, safer and time-effective. However, one can wonder why developers who write open-source code contribute it to projects for free.

The answer is in community and experience. Let’s explore a few reasons why companies and developers open-source their projects.

1. Promoting The Open-Source Culture

Many people who contribute to open-source projects do so because they believe in the open-source culture. Many coders worldwide think that open-source projects make development more accessible and in turn, make the world a better place. Others contribute simply because they believe that open-source projects encourage innovation, collaboration, and healthy competition. Many people also identify with the open-source community and are happy to work with like-minded people on projects which are close to their heart.

2. Fixing Errors

One of the most significant advantages of open-source projects is that they are used and modified by a lot of people. This means that error detection is much quicker. Once you detect a bug in an open-source project, you can find the bug, fix it and readily use the modified version.

This quick detection and modification is not possible in the case of proprietary software. End-users have to wait for their providers to fix bugs and errors in a program, which is a long and tedious process.

Often when coders detect bugs in an open-source project, they submit their fix to the project leader, and the code gets modified for everyone. This increases the functional quality of the entire project.

3. Developers Get To Learn And Gain Experience

Anyone can contribute to an open-source project. Developers worldwide scour open-source projects for areas where they can contribute.

While expert coders focus on core functions and fixing complicated bugs, beginner and intermediate level coders can tackle the easy parts.

Contributing to open-source projects is one of the best ways in which new developers can gain coding experience without pressure or risk.

4. Building a Portfolio

Every line of code a programmer contributes to an open-source project can be accessed by anyone. This means that coders can add their contribution to their professional portfolio. For newbies, a portfolio that shows contributions to a few successful projects can make a world of difference.

Along with learning, working on open-source increases your credibility as a programmer and can help you land internships and even coveted jobs.

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