The Importance of Open-Source Software for Young Professionals

Amanda Marochko
The Importance of Open-Source Software

The Importance of Open-Source Software Open-source software (OSS) has become a fundamental part of the online movement. It allows technology to transcend conventional class boundaries, making applications available to the “haves”, and the “have-nots”, all over the globe. It is important for young, Gen Y users to go beyond the brand and recognize the techno-political importance that open-source software has had, and will have, for years to come.

You Will Save Your Hard-Earned Money Using Open-Source Software

In this day and age, where job markets remain unstable, it is less practical to purchase expensive software that may come with a thousands dollar price tag. Open-source software isn’t always 100% free, but it will always be less expensive than its big, brand name competitors.

There are no licensing fees while dealing with open-source software. The internet has become heavily reliant on a peer-to-peer based system, and OSS embraces that. You can try out applications, share them with friends, and change the back-end code into something that is uniquely yours. Where this becomes particularly handy is if you’re a young entrepreneur working to start up your own business. The business licensing fees that are attached to names like Microsoft and Adobe can become staggering when trying to outfit multiple desktops and laptops with proper software.

Also, if you end up sharing your documents across business lines, you will force your business partner to purchase expensive software in order to access your files.

Get What You Need Out of a Product

Large companies with brand name products package their software with extra features so that they can justify a higher price mark-up and appeal to a broader range of consumers. This is disadvantageous to individuals seeking a particular feature or function. With open-source software, you purchase only what you need out of a product. This prevents you from being contractually locked into specific services. Since open-source software products are not owned by a larger conglomerate, those of you who want to be conscientious of the capitalist marketplace are able to support a viable alternative.

Open-Source Software Is Community-Oriented

Open-source software is community based, and adopts a grassroots approach to development. As such, not one individual or company has the capacity to control the software. However, this increases the competitive market, allowing you to have a greater amount of choice with fairer pricing. Updates, add-ons, and services are far more frequent with open-source software products because of this.

Perhaps one of the best features of open-source software is that you can contribute to the product. You can look at the source code and see its components, in case you’re worried about malware, or you can simply change it to better suit your needs. Some open-source software is licensed with Apache, meaning that you can then distribute your modified version to the masses.

The Speed at Which Technology Is Changing

With technology, and subsequently our needs as users changing at such a rapid place, we expect our software to be flexible and adaptable to accommodate us accordingly. Open-source software allows us to change vendors at any time; if you’re no longer happy with the product or service provided, or you are looking for something different, that’s perfectly okay. Say goodbye to the days of purchasing software, only to later find out that it doesn’t give you the service you were looking for. Also, the ability to try out the software before purchasing is something inherent to open-source software products.

Check out one of my previous blog posts on the best free and open-source software and try out one of the amazing applications listed.