How to Navigate the Open Source Ecosystem

Open Source is the new black

Editor’s Note: We’re hosting an open source focused practitioner level event on July 20th in San Francisco. Join us for the “Open Source in Apis and Microservices and learn more!

At LunchBadger, we have a love affair with and we just can’t hide it. So we believe that open source is key to providing technical practitioners and developers opportunities to learn, grow and build more interconnected technology centric communities.

Also, companies, large or small, create community driven contributions to some of the most impactful projects that affect their industry.

Additionally, some of our favorite frameworks, like Express.js, are also open source.

Where to start?

We’ve all got to start somewhere some time and now is the perfect time! So it does not matter where you live or what kind of tech stack you’re working with.

There are always projects that could use some love. 

So if you’re having trouble with finding the right group of people or interesting projects to contribute to,  there are a few things that could help.

First of all, don’t shy away from projects with corporate sponsors. Second, check out the project on Github to see who the most active contributors are. Also, you can reach out directly to the maintainers to be able to understand more about where the project is going.

Knight Lab provides some guidance on what to look for in successful open source projects.

Important Ecosystems

You don’t need to go at all of this alone. There are several foundations and interest groups that can provide resources for developers, like you, who are building applications.

Whether you’re a weekend code warrior or just a code badger looking to find your next big project, open source ecosystems are bigger than ever.

So, if you’re curious and want to contribute or just understand where to start, we’ve put together a short list of important thought leaders who can help.

NodeJS Foundation

First of all, the NodeJS Foundation is a great place to start. Did you know that ExpressJS is a project of the NodeJS Foundation? In addition to ExpressJS, they have tons of resources available for you.

If you haven’t already, you should learn more about how to get more involved.

Linux Foundation

Next up (and closely related), the Linux Foundation.  When you arrive on the website, you are greeted  with open source everything, and it takes a very special group of people to be continuously devoted to open source developers. Members include developers, but also corporations who support or sponsor open source initiatives.

Just in case you missed it, their Blog for open source professionals provides some amazing reads. Additionally, their diversity programming is top notch and worth checking out whether you come from a diverse background or not.

Open Source Initiative

Next up, the Open Source Initiative is a global non-profit that focuses on preserving and protecting open source capabilities within the technical communities at large.

Additionally, they provide a certain level of standardization. So, on a global level, this is a important foundation to the ecosystem.

“Open source software is software that can be freely used, changed, and shared (in modified or unmodified form) by anyone. Open source software is made by many people, and distributed under licenses that comply with the Open Source Definition.”

Don’t forget to hop on those mailing lists, yo!

Open Source for America

Finally, we have Open Source for America which is a very special group of practitioners devoted to helping connect the U.S. government with developers and initiatives.

In case you were curious, you might see some friendly familiar faces on their steering committees including RedHat, the Google, and many more.

Meanwhile…

So these are just a few of the important aspects of this emerging space. In addition, check out  important resources that can help you, as a developer, build amazing applications.

Additionally, you can access an open, inclusive community of practitioners, and we look forward to seeing what you’re building!


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