Industries worldwide are undergoing a digital transformation, and Leonid Radvinsky believes that open source software is playing a vital role in shaping this new digital landscape. As a technology entrepreneur and venture capitalist, Leonid has invested in open source software like B4X. He is also an avid user of open source software, like Elixir, in his projects, and he aims to continue using open source software as his technology standard. As businesses grow their presence on digital platforms and the communities around open source technology expand, open source software will provide the technological backbone in an increasingly digital world.
What is Open Source Software?
Open source software is software with publicly available source code that anyone can access and contribute to. This source code is managed by a community of developers and is available for anyone to use for free. It can even be used in commercial software without the need for payment of any licensing fees. Unlike proprietary software, users have democratic control over open source software. Developers can contribute to the codebase by improving existing features or even developing their own. Because all users can access the entire codebase, developers can extend the functionality of the software at any time without relying on a corporation to implement and expose the required functionality.
Open Source Growth in Pandemic
Over a year into the pandemic, the popularity of open source software is growing steadily. In part, the prevalence of COVID-19 has made it necessary for businesses to rapidly undergo digital transformations, moving their products and services into online spaces. Many companies have also transitioned to relying on remote work, requiring an entirely new digital infrastructure compared to working in person. Businesses were already beginning to migrate towards providing more robust digital platforms before the pandemic. However, with escalating demands for online services, businesses have needed to expedite this transformation process.
The use of open source software can help to make this digital transformation faster and more cost-effective. As a result of the economic downturn caused by COVID-19, companies are finding the affordability of open source software especially vital to their development process. With open source software, companies can leverage existing technology to speed up their development process as the use of open source software is much more time efficient and cost-effective. Thus eliminating the need for developers to recreate the technology that already exists. The use of open source software also eliminates the often exorbitant licensing fees associated with proprietary software.
Open source technology is being used by companies across a wide range of industries. A recent survey of enterprise IT leaders found that 90% of respondents were using open source software in their business, with 64% using it for IT infrastructure, 54% for application development, 53% for automating previously manual processes, and 54% for networking infrastructure. If a company is looking for a technological solution, there is likely a quality open source option available that they can use to streamline their development process.
Popular Open Source Software
Open source software has become the industry standard in a variety of technological fields, and technologies like Docker, Kubernetes, and Linux are all incredibly popular options in their respective uses. Another popular open source technology is B4X, a suite of interactive development environments for creating cross-platform applications. With B4X, users can develop software that runs natively on various platforms, including Google Android, Apple iOs, Java, Raspberry Pi, and Arduino. As the key investor behind the B4X project, Leo Radvinsky has helped to share his vision and focus on providing an easy-to-use programming interface that is accessible to developers of all levels of experience.
Another popular open source technology is Elixir, a functional programming language that allows developers to create decentralized architecture for web-based development. It is designed to be incredibly resilient so that the language recovers quickly from errors and never crashes. Because Elixir is open source, it has undergone a collaborative development process, and numerous developers have been able to rigorously test the language from the very beginning. This development process has made Elixir the robust language that it is today. Because of the language’s open source nature, Leo Radvinsky uses Elixir as the technology standard for many of his projects.
Benefits of Open Source Software
As open source software is free and accessible to everyone, it provides a great way for companies to reduce the cost and time of development. Amidst a digital wave, this ability to cut down on time and costs makes greater innovation possible. With open source software, companies can cut down on licensing costs from proprietary software, and save developer time by eliminating the need to recreate solutions that already exist. The use of open source software adds a huge amount of value to a project at zero cost.
Besides the improvements to finances and time, the very nature of open source software also encourages innovation. Since open source software provides users with access to the full codebase, it is easy for developers to customize and extend existing functionality. Developers are not limited by the features that proprietary companies choose to expose, and instead have access to the entire infrastructure. Additionally, the community-managed nature of open source software encourages collaboration from developers from a wide variety of backgrounds. When developers contribute new features or improvements to open source software, all users of that software can benefit from those changes. The vast community of developers surrounding these projects also makes it simple to communicate with other developers to ask questions and get feedback. Many open source technologies have forums dedicated to discussions of the technology, and a quick search of StackOverflow is often a quick way to find solutions to any development challenges.
Open source software also provides a variety of security benefits compared to proprietary software. Because open source software allows users to view all the source code, developers can always see what’s going on behind the scenes. This contrasts with proprietary software which can function a bit like a black box with potential security vulnerabilities hidden from sight. Because developers are constantly working with and examining the source code, there are numerous opportunities for developers to uncover and repair security vulnerabilities. This code transparency makes it easier for developers to ensure that the software meets their level of security requirements.
The Future of Open Source
As businesses and organizations continue to undergo digital transformations, open source software is likely to become increasingly popular. Open source software provides incredible amounts of value to businesses in all industries by cutting down the cost and time required to develop innovative technology. Additionally, open source’s collaborative nature, its technological transparency, and its surrounding community all make open source technology a popular alternative to traditional commercial software.
Recent data can confirm the popularity of open source solutions. A recent survey of developers and technology managers found that 94% of respondents found open source software to be better than, or equivalent to, proprietary software. When looking specifically at cloud providers, 70% of developers
preferred an open source solution.
As the popularity of open source solutions grows, Leonid Radvinsky believes that open source software will help fuel the transformation to an increasingly digital landscape.