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Your leadership in addressing change can only enrich your career

Yogi SchulzOnce upon a time, many dismissed open-source software (OSS) as the ugly stepchild of proprietary software packages licensed by major software vendors such as IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, and SAP. No one wanted the phrase open-source on their resume.

Today, OSS is widely installed, accepted, and acknowledged as the future of software for computing infrastructure and applications. Everyone is jumping in. The reasons for the surge in OSS adoption include the following:

  1. The capable OSS software development community produces better software faster than the proprietary software package vendors.
  2. OSS supports the digital transformation of organizations.
  3. OSS is emerging as a prerequisite to implementing cloud-based computing.
  4. OSS is cheaper to license than proprietary software.
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Innovative individuals can leverage these OSS trends to enhance their careers and deliver benefits for their organizations through the following actions.

Become an OSS champion

Join the open-source communities that align with your organization’s requirements and your personal interests. Educate yourself, your team, and your management on OSS benefits. Determine which existing OSS projects you can leverage for business benefit instead of developing more and more custom software internally.

Among the vast number of OSS projects, which project should you champion within your organization? Best open source software of 2022 project rankings are a helpful indicator of project importance and viability. Some of these projects are likely to align with your organization’s vision for its future.

Contribute to OSS projects

Many organizations use OSS today but, unfortunately, many of them do not contribute to open-source communities. By actively contributing to the design and development of OSS projects, your work will benefit many organizations. Simultaneously, your organization will benefit from the work of the entire OSS community. This collaboration produces new functionality and faster fixes for software defects for everyone. The collaboration underlies the unequalled value OSS delivers to its community.

As there are millions of OSS projects and only a tiny fraction are exhibiting significant momentum, how do you identify an OSS project that is worth your time contributing to while avoiding deadbeat projects? Apply the methodology described in Open Source Metrics to identify the OSS project that is most worthwhile for you to contribute to.

Turn into an influencer in OSS projects

Individuals build influence in the OSS community by contributing consistently to an OSS project. Your contribution will enhance your reputation in the OSS community and your organization. That influence helps you direct projects toward functionality that is important to your organization’s priorities.

To build your strategy for becoming a noted influencer in OSS projects, read this article for ideas: Open Source: Top 100 Influencers and Brands. The critical influencer strategy is to champion innovation in OSS projects fully.

Change the business culture to OSS

The open-source culture is open-minded, innovative and collaborative. OSS projects lead the IT revolution in data analytics, big data, massively scalable cloud computing, AI, and social networking.

Embracing the OSS culture will help your organization respond to the risks associated with the changes it’s facing and benefit from them. As you promote adopting relevant aspects of this OSS revolution, your leadership in addressing change can only enhance your career.

To build your understanding of how to change the business culture to an open source culture, read this article for ideas: Sparking change with less pain: An open approach.

Yogi Schulz has over 40 years of information technology experience in various industries. Yogi works extensively in the petroleum industry. He manages projects that arise from changes in business requirements, the need to leverage technology opportunities, and mergers. His specialties include IT strategy, web strategy and project management.

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The opinions expressed by our columnists and contributors are theirs alone and do not inherently or expressly reflect the views of our publication.

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