The love for open source software is showing no signs of slowing down

The love for open source software is spread across the whole technology spectrum, a new report looking at the state of developing software and the tools needed to do so has claimed.

The 2022 State of Open Source Report, conducted by OpenLogic, surveyed 2,660 professionals and their organisations that use open source tools. 

If you are a software developer or work in an adjacent industry then this is probably no surprise: open source tools are the glue that holds so many things together, a community of selfless individuals working towards a bigger goal. 

Open source love

The report asked respondents a series of questions to gauge their interest (and love) for open source, covering a wide variety of roles and companies (see below for more on the specific methodologies).

Most respondents use an open source programming language or framework, closely followed by databases, OSes, Git repos, frameworks for AI/ML/DL, and the cloud. 

2022 open source report

(Image credit: OpenLogic)

When it comes to reservations, respondents highlighted a lack of skills. But, perhaps most interestingly, a full 27% said they had no reservations at all.

2022 open source report

(Image credit: OpenLogic)

When it came to reasons for using open source, the answers were clear: access to innovations and latest technologies; no license cost, meaning an overall cost reduction; modernising their technology stack; many options for similar technologies; and constant releases and patches.

2022 open source report

(Image credit: OpenLogic)

Methodology 

Most (38%) are technology companies, but lots of other sectors are represented: consulting, banking and finance, transport, telecoms, education, healthcare, public sector, and so on. 39% of companies were between 100 and 1,000 employees, 32% were under 100 employees, and 28% were over 1,000 employees.

In terms of the regions, North America dominated, representing 52.6% of respondents, followed by Asia Pacific (12.4%), UK and Europe (10.9%), Asia (7.7%), Middle East (6.6%), Latin America (5.2%), Africa (4.2%), and Oceania (0.32%). 

Full Stack Developers were the highest respondents, representing 21.8%, followed by Back End (18.5%), Front End (16%), Engineering (15.7%), Project Management (14.4%), Architect (14.4%), DevOps (12.6%), and so on. 

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Google wants secure open-source software to be the future

After attending the recent White House Open Source Software Security Summit, Google is now calling for a public-private partnership to not only fund but also staff essential open-source projects.

In a new blog post, president of global affairs and chief legal officer at both Google and Alphabet, Kent Walker laid out the search giant's plans to better secure the open-source software ecosystem.

For too long, businesses and governments have taken comfort in the assumption that open source software is generally secure due to its transparent nature. While many believe that more eyes watching can help detect and resolve problems in the open source community, some projects actually don't have many eyes on them while others have few or none at all.

To its credit, Google has been working to raise awareness of the state of open source security and the company has invested millions in developing frameworks and new protective tools. However, the Log4j vulnerability and others before it have shown that more work is needed across the ecosystem to develop new models to maintain and secure open source software.

Public-private partnership 

In his blog post, Kent proposes creating a new public-private partnership to identify a list of critical open source projects to help prioritize and allocate resources to ensure their security.

In the long term though, new ways of identifying open source software and components that may pose a system risk need to be implemented so that the level of security required can be anticipated and the appropriate resources can be provided.

At the same time, security, maintenance and testing baselines need to be established across both the public and private sector. This will help ensure that national infrastructure and other important systems can continue to rely on open source projects. These standards also should be developed through a collaborative process according to Kent with an “emphasis on frequent updates, continuous testing and verified integrity”. Fortunately, the software community has already started this work with organizations like OpenSFF working across industry to create these standards.

Now that Google has weighed in on the issue of open source security, expect other tech giants like Microsoft and Apple to propose their own ideas regarding the matter.

We've also rounded up the best open source software and the best business laptops

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