Posted by Ed George

The words ‘open source’ may not mean much to you if you’re not a developer. But it is indeed important for anyone interested in developing apps; it can contribute to managing client relationships by giving them and the wider development community the ability to maintain their own libraries or applications.

To make it simple, the idea of ‘open source’ consists of 3 Key Principles:

  • The open availability of source code and the right to modify it.
  • The right to redistribute modifications and improvements to the code.
  • The right to use the software in any way.

Why should you care about it?

Within the mobile development space it can improve the speed of implementing the ever changing and evolving styles of applications in the 21st century.

Given that open source code is free to use and modify, it’s cost effective for companies to use open source projects within their applications. With countless libraries available, it can also save time when starting projects afresh.

Using and maintaining open source projects can teach us new skills, as it’s freely available to read. It keeps developers up to date with new practices, trends and ideas so they can remain informed and passionate about the industry.

Open Source Toolbox

A few of our favourite open source platforms include Retrofit, GSON and Cakebrew. For Android developers, there are a few projects we at Hi Mum! Said Dad have used. From Picasso to Universal Image Loader (UIL) to Volley and ViewPagerIndicator, there are plenty of projects you can utilize to enhance your app in a matter of minutes.

To find out what else is out there, be sure to check out which covers a daily list of up and coming open source projects in multiple programming and markup languages such as HTML/CSS, Javascript, .NET, ObjC, Java, Ruby, etc.

How could ‘going open source’ help you?

Open sourcing a project or library gives something back to the development community and can reflect your developers’ skills and passion. It can be used to show transparency, show off new ideas or provide a boilerplate code that demonstrates the best practices within the industry.

Many large companies have open-sourced key internal libraries in the past; including Google, Square, Twitter, Facebook and, in recent years, even Apple has jumped on the open source train.

We’re not saying use open source for every project and its’ entirety — we’re just saying it’s worth taking look at the development community. So next time you start a project, it may be worth considering what options you already have available at your keyboard’s fingertips.

Read more on open source and how big brands have used it here:

Open Source Community

Open Sourcing is No Longer Optional, Not Even for Apple (Wired)

Google Made its Secret Blueprint Public to Boost its Cloud (Wired)

Swift 2.0 is open source, ApacheCon: Big Data, and more open source news (

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