Jürgen Gmach

it's never too late to join the party!

written by Jürgen Gmach on 2019-05-02

Although I started writing code already at the age of 13 (Generation C64), and I am a professional web and backend developer since 2007, I only started contributing to open source software quite recently - apart from the occasional bug report.

what is open source software?

Quote from Wikipedia:

Open-source software (OSS) is a type of computer software in which source code is released under a license in which the copyright holder grants users the rights to study, change, and distribute the software to anyone and for any purpose.

interesting tidbit

The term was coined by Tim O'Reilly, Eric Raymon and Bruce Perens in 1998 - that's just 20 years!

why care about open source software?

The company, I currently work for, makes heave use of open source sofware - maybe not right from the beginning, as the company predates the term open source software, but at least from the very start of the internet-age.

utilized open source software (excerpt)

why would you not contribute to open source software?

turning point

... but ... Zope is open source software!

Despite its age maturity Zope is still widely used, indirectly by the very popular and rock stable CMS Plone, but also for big custom applications, for instance union.cms, which gets used by ver.di and DGB.

That means that there is a broad interest of companies and unions alike to keep Zope going.

Focussing on the core competence, it is not always the best idea to employ software engineers yourself - at least not to build on the basis technology.

Luckily, there are quite some consultants out there working with the Zope / Plone universe, e.g. gocept gmbh & co. kg, which get hired by companies and the mentioned unions, in order to work on Zope. gocept on the other hand also has great interest in Zope's future, and therefore also heavily contributes back to the Zope universe, both with code contributions, but they also host so called sprints.

Sounds like a win win win situation!

sprint what?

A sprint is a set period of time during all kind of software developers come together to work on a certain project. In this case, the migration of Zope from Python 2.7 to Python 3.

history of Zope sprints @gocept

open source is fun and you'll learn a lot!

... but also historical facts ... src/ZPublisher/HTTPResponse.py

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# of name=value pairs may be quoted.

one last thing

Contributing to open source software should not exclusively be at the expense of your free time!

Ask your boss - today! Eventually, you'll be surprised - so was I.


I presented this topic as a lightning talk at Mobile Stammtisch/GDG Regensburg on 20. December 2018.