Open-source software is one of the most powerful tools modern developers have at their disposal. It allows individual developers to benefit from and build off the work of entire development communities, harnessing that power instead of starting from scratch. It's valuable yet cost-effective. And it's changing the landscape of tech development.
The open source software development model is characterized by processes and values that set it apart from the traditional proprietary development model. The software development model practiced by many organizations generally consists of discrete periods of development activity that cascade towards a project’s release. The open source development model takes a different approach, favoring a more fluid development process characterized by increased intra-team collaboration, continuous integration and testing, and greater end-user involvement. The open source development model is being increasingly adopted within traditional development organizations as a means of producing higher quality software, even within companies that are not producing an open source product. This is generally due to the increased efficiencies the open source development model offers to large, distributed teams working on major software projects.
An interwoven development cycle The open source development model is characterized by a series of interwoven processes that continually improve code quality, instead of a strictly linear progression to a release. Unlike the “big reveal” that typically accompanies the traditional software development model, the open source model encourages continuous and independent feature development. This enables new features to be integrated as they are ready, which in turn allows other developers to build upon them more quickly and produce a more competitive product. Release Early and Often “Release early and often” refers to the development practice of publishing alpha code to the development community for review well in advance of the final release. This results in highly iterative development, and minimizes the amount of change between development releases, making regressions and breakages easier to diagnose.