Editor’s note: Todd Lewis is the creator of All Things Open and Open Source 101. 

RALEIGH – In 2018 it’s easy to believe everyone understands open source and has a firm grasp of the basic processes and tools.  It can be a surprisingly nuanced topic, though, and after 10 years of hosting open source events I and my associates can tell you most current and future technologists do not.

But why is this important?  Why should technologists and would-be technologists care?

Consider the following:

According to a recent Forrester Wave: Software Composition Analysis Report (Q1 2017), open source comprises 80-90% of the code in a typical application.  “Developers use open source components as their foundation, creating applications using only 10 – 20% new code.”

According to the Blackduck Open Source 360 Survey (819 IT professionals globally were surveyed):

  • Open Source is now present in IT workloads in 90% of organizations

  • Sixty-six percent (66%) of companies surveyed now contribute to open source projects

  • Of 1,071 applications audited throughout 2016, 96% contained open source

According to the annual Linux Foundation / Dice Jobs Report (300 hiring managers and 1800 open source professionals surveyed):

  • Demand for open source professionals is increasing rapidly

  • Eighty-nine percent (89%) of hiring managers say it’s difficult to find open source talent

  • Sixty percent (60%) of companies are now looking for open source full-time hires

  • Sixty-seven percent (67%) of managers say hiring open source professionals will increase more than in other areas in the next 6 months

When taking these statistics into consideration it should be obvious that understanding the basics is vital.  After all, if one doesn’t have a foundational understanding how can a modern technologist, or anyone for that matter, effectively do the following?

  • Contribute to an open source project (66% of companies surveyed by Blackduck now do).

  • Consume/utilize open source safely and productively (80-90% of the code in a typical application is comprised of open source according to Forrester).

  • Open source an existing internal application, tool or platform, which is increasingly being done by some of the biggest names in technology.

  • Work in an environment in which open source is being used or contributed to, and therefore discussed regularly.

Open Source 101 was started for this very reason – to ensure all attendees have the basic understanding necessary to participate in an environment now dominated by open source.     

 Open Source 101 will take place Saturday, Feb. 17 at The McKimmon Center at NC State University. Registration opens at 8:00 am EST, programming starts at 9:30.  The cost to attend is just $10 for students and $29 for non-students.

Programming at the event will feature 30 minute talks covering the following broad categories:

Learning the basics of open source has never been more important.  Anyone attending Open Source 101 should leave with a solid understanding of how to contribute, consume, and operate effectively in an open source environment.