Inspirational quotes on open source from 10 leading experts

Sara Ana Cemazar
October 6, 2021
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One of the things that makes open-source projects so fun to work on is the open-source community. Numerous interested individuals are willing to contribute to the projects and embody the spirit of innovation, teamwork, and selflessness.

In this article, we are naming the biggest names in today’s open source community and bringing you their quotes on the importance of open-source or their advice on it.

What is open-source software and why is it becoming more popular?

Open-source software is the kind of software that has publicly available source code. In other words, you can read it like a book!

The term ‘open source’ was coined at the end of the 1990’s itself. Nowadays, there are more than 180,000 open-source projects, with many of them in commercial use. 

Open-source stands for being transparent, sharing, and contributing to others’ projects to improve them or to modify them for your own.

In any case, a huge community of contributors makes the essence of the open-source. Rocket.Chat is also an open-source software, and we wouldn’t be where we are today without our 30K strong GitHub community.

But we are not open-source advocates for the sake of it. We believe that open-source has indisputable advantages over its closed-source counterparts, such as security, flexibility, and more.

Without further ado, here are the quotes from some of the most important figures and influencers in the open-source community today.

Vint Cerf, ‘Father of the Internet’

“Information flow is what the Internet is about. Information sharing is power. If you don't share your ideas, smart people can't do anything about them, and you'll remain anonymous and powerless.”

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Linus Torvalds, creator of Linux and Git

“I often compare open source to science. Science took this whole notion of developing ideas in the open and improving on other peoples' ideas. It made science what it is today and made the incredible advances that we have had possible. And I compare that to witchcraft and alchemy, where openness was something you didn't do."

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Richard Stallman, founder of the Free Software Foundation

“Proprietary software is an injustice. Sharing is good, and with digital technology, sharing is easy.”

Eric Allman, Sendmail founder

“The intellectual property situation is bad and getting worse. To be a programmer, it requires that you understand as much law as you do technology.”

Limor Fried, electrical engineer and inventor, founder of Adafruit

“When we have welcoming communities of contributors, open source software gets better and more useful to everyone.”

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Kelsey Hightower, technologist at Google and open-source advocate

“Open source is about collaborating; not competing.”

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Jim Zemlin, executive director at The Linux Foundation

“We believe open source is a public good and across every industry, we have a responsibility to come together to improve and support the security of open-source software we all depend on.”

Rikki Endsley, Senior open source community marketing at AWS

“I didn’t intend to stay in tech when I got into it, but the people are what really kept me here. In this career, you get to continue working with the same people in different ways. In open source, you get to work with your competitors. I have friendly relationships with people who work at companies that are our technical competitors, and that’s normal. That’s the way this industry is supposed to work."

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Scott Hanselman, Principal Community Architect for Web Platform and Tools at Microsoft

“Open source is a thankless job. We do it anyway.”

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Arun Gupta, Principal Open Source Technologist at Amazon Web Services

“Why does Amazon care about open source? At Amazon, we are customer-obsessed. Our customers love open source and want us to help them innovate on top of them. That is what drives our contribution to open source.”

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Vicky Brasseur, author and open-source advocate

“A portfolio comprising contributions to free and open-source software contributions avoids the legal, moral, and reputational risks of sharing samples from proprietary work-for-hire creations."

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Sara is an SEO Strategist at Rocket.Chat. She is passionate about topics around digital transformation, workplace experience, open source, and data privacy and security.
Sara Ana Cemazar
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