Programmers Prefer Open-Source Portability

Programmers prefer the portability of open-source tools and libraries.

In this case I'm not referring to binary portability, I'm referring to job portability. While a skill learned on a complicated and large proprietary tool is only as valuable as the number of companies that are using said tool, a skill in an open-source tool is portable. If a programmer changes jobs, the same tool is guaranteed to be freely available at the next job.

This presents another problem for proprietary tool vendors. Why would a developer spend lots of time and effort becoming proficient in a tool that may not even be available at the next job? Sure, developers can restrict themselves to looking for jobs where their proprietary skill set is useful, but in a tight job market, who wants to do that?

It is a much easier sell to get buy-in for a free tool than one that costs thousands of dollars per developer or per shipment. Open Source has one more edge over proprietary software than previously thought.

Last modified on 21 Dec 2005 by AO

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