This is my first blog post on this platform and without further ado, I wish to say many thanks to the Geezam blog community for having me on their platform. The work that you guys are doing is amazing!
Hi! Have you ever thought about the technologies used by some of the most successful companies around the world – take for example Facebook, Google, Airbnb & Twitter? Have you thought about the tools that were used during their initial stages of development? News flash, they all started out using Linux or other forms of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS). Now, they are “all grown up” and FOSS still forms part of their critical infrastructure. With that chain of thought, have you ever thought about why some of our main institutions (governmental and non-governmental) aren’t adopting more of these tools? Why aren’t our universities putting more effort in educating our future generations on about these tools? Well, these are some of the questions which continue to haunt me for the past eight years and I hope to reignite the discussion by explaining the benefits to be derived from using FOSS technology.
What is FOSS?
Once you have a general understanding of computers, I’m assuming you’ve heard the term Free or Open Source software being mentioned by friends or associates. But here is a quick and simple definition: this applies to any software which allows modification, sharing or viewing of its internal workings freely. Now in the not so distant past, FOSS software were labelled as tools only used by “computer-geeks” to do extremely complex work. This has been a stigma that has affected the adoption rate over the past decade. Contrary to such popular label, these open source software performs similar functions as their proprietary counterparts. Take for example a word document software you purchased, there are free alternatives which accomplish the same goals as paid version – Yes F.R.E.E.
Some of the benefits of using FOSS ranges from cost reduction, security, privacy to software stability – Wikipedia. It is without a doubt that using open source software will yield significant benefits irrespective of one’s socio-economic or occupational status. I know that there are other Jamaicans, like myself, who are using these tools on a daily basis, but are we sharing the knowledge with others? This is one of the questions I’ll be aiming to answer in a series of posts, geared towards explaining the benefits I’ve been experiencing and how you or your business may benefit.
I’m a “FOSS” Fan
The first time I’ve ever laid my eyes on an open source software was in 2009 when my friend showed me his Ubuntu (Linux based) computer operating system. From that day till now I’ve been a huge fan of open source (FOSS) software, I live and breathe that stuff – literally. There is more than enough evidence that our way of life has been directly impacted by some sort of open source technology. Similar to how volunteerism plays an important role in our social and economic development, I believe that open source impacts the technology space in a similar fashion.
So yes I’m a huge open source fan! So huge, that a co-worker gave me the alias ‘Ubuntu’ – which I think is pretty cool. As the word, Ubuntu is an African word meaning: ‘I am what I am, because of who we all are – this is a separate post in and of itself.
Whether or not you are aware of it, you are already benefiting from open source tools and technologies. That gadget you’re using to read this post or your favourite social media platform are all driven by open source. The social and financial benefits which are derived from open source are more than I can express in a single post. So join me in a series of bi-weekly posts where I’ll be explaining the essential open source tools and how they may be of usage to you (GOs and NGOs, individual).
Come on Vaminos! 🙂
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