Indian developers contribute actively to open source projects: report

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Bangalore: Developers in India are more likely to contribute than developers from other countries, with more than two-thirds (68%) actively participating, revealed the quarterly Currents report by DigitalOcean – a cloud services platform provider for developers. Over 4300 respondents were surveyed around the world and 17% of them were from India.

The report in its fifth edition has focused entirely on open source, to coincide with the movement’s 20-year anniversary. It asked more than 4,300 respondents around the world about the state of open source, including how they and their companies use it and what inspires them to support the community.

More than half (55 percent) of over 4300 respondents said they contribute in some way. Those who contribute do so in a few ways, with the most popular way being through contributions to open source software, followed by helping maintain open source software, according to the report findings.

The top motivation is improving coding skills — developers in the UK especially cited this (78% vs. 69% overall). A close second was being part of a community — even though developers tend to work independently, they still look for ways to connect with other coders and learn new technology. Thirty seven percent of developers said they would contribute more if their companies gave them additional time to do so. –

While open source advocates would undoubtedly like to see more developers contributing to the community, the good news is developers as a whole are very bullish, with 89% said the open source community is healthy and growing.

The following are some key findings from the report:

-Twenty years in, just over half of developers surveyed are contributing to open source projects (55%). However, that is less than what companies expect from their employees: three out of four respondents said their companies expect them to use open source software as part of their day-to-day development work.

-Two of the most prominent barriers preventing developers from getting involved in open source are not knowing where to begin, and doubting they have the right skills. Companies not giving their employees time to contribute is also a large factor.

-Of the five major tech companies — Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple — developers overwhelmingly said Google is most supportive of the open source community, followed by Microsoft. Apple ranked last.

-There’s a disconnect between companies’ encouragement of open source within their organizations, and their actual investment. Only 18% of respondents said their company is a member of an open source-related organization and 75% said their company invests $1000 or less every year in donations to open source.

Newer developers actively contribute more to open source than veteran developers: While 55% of respondents said they actively contribute to open source projects, developers with five or fewer years of experience were significantly more likely to contribute (60%) than developers with six or more years of experience. This participation boost from newer developers aligns with the overall perception that the open source community is healthy and growing (89%).

This year marks both the 20th anniversary of the open source movement, as well as the 5th year of Hacktoberfest, our annual month-long celebration of open source. DigitalOcean Currents highlights the latest trends among developers in the cloud and our latest edition carries interesting insights on the potential of open source software,” said Prabhakar Jayakumar, Country Director, DigitalOcean India.

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