Open Source Software Programs – Are They Worth It?
Many companies produce open source software programs, while others are dubious about whether to release their software for free. Open source software programs carry with them a plethora of benefits that you don’t get with closed software programs. Professional software engineers like Durga Madiraju can identify and make the best use of these software programs. She is an experienced software engineer working for a Fortune 500 company, with industry experience of over 2 decades.
A programmer who exposes his code to the world and other participants of the project will ensure that the code quality does not suffer. If this is not the case, another project programmer will instead propose a more efficient or cleaner code (in practice this happens frequently). That’s why open source projects are so much better.
In the case of proprietary software (i.e. the manufacturer does not give access to the source code) the code may be of very poor or uneven quality depending on the programmer.
Also, a large number of people are constantly participating (as soon as a new feature is developed) to testing free software, which makes it possible to identify the bugs very early. This is essential as the cost of bug fixes depends on the stage at which they are identified.
Software such as Linux (operating system), Apache (the most used web server in the world), and many others have demonstrated that the reliability of free software is exceptional.
A reasonable cost for users
Open Source software is either free or offered at a reasonable cost, in any case much lower than commercial equivalent software. For example, RedHat Company sells paid distributions of Linux with support included for a few hundred bucks.
If bugs are identified, the correction of these errors is taken into account free of charge by the project participants. It is clear however that the total cost of software for a company takes into account many other factors. In particular, it may be necessary to train users, and the cost of interruptions due to the software must be accounted for.
In general, users with a specific need for software improvement receive a favorable and timely response from the project’s developer community.
A user can code a feature he needs, in agreement with the project coordinator. User-driven improvements themselves are very common, and are part of the normal operation of free projects.
This strong responsiveness contrasts sharply with the policy of the proprietary software vendors. In general, product improvements are decided by the product’s marketing manager, and users have no control over these enhancements unless they have significant economic weight for the publisher.