Open-source culture is growing in Nepal

Open-source culture is growing in Nepal

In the digital age, all organizations are being digitized. Whether it is a government body or a private institution. Be it a tech company or a non-tech company. All of these companies are using some kind of software and technical tools for performance and service delivery.

Millions of dollars are invested every year in software purchases and subscriptions. Some software is also available for free. Some people have to pay and subscribe. What is the security guarantee of the free or paid software you are using?

When Windows was the only paid operating system in the 1990's, software engineer Linux Torvalds and a university student created the Linux operating system.

The culture of open source software developed after the software was distributed worldwide for free. Now open source is developing at such a fast pace. It is also expanding its influence.

Numeric Minds, which works in the field of data analysis and services, uses most of the open source tools to perform its tasks. Binod Jung Bogati, a data scientist, says the company uses its open source statistical data science programming language 'R'.

Similarly, Aju Tamang is an active member of the Nepali Open Source Community, working in the techcraft company Multiplug Platform Aerobase and Azure. He also says that his company works using open source software and tools. Aju has also been writing various blogs on open source.

When talking about open source, you may have many questions about it. What is open source and open source software?

To understand open source, you must first understand the process of software development. Developers use code to create the software we use, which is written in any specific programming language.

If the developer or the company that owns the code project is to open the code, to keep its license open, then it must be understood that the code is open source.

The open source code can be accessed by any developer, programmer, software engineer or beginner interested in the field around the world.

They can turn the code upside down, edit it and create separate software. For example, the Chrome browser you use is also built from the open source Chromium browser.

Similarly, Microsoft Edge and Opera are also browsers made from Chromium browser. Although your parent Chromium browser is open source, these other browsers are not open source. These can be used for free. But their code is not available openly.

Open source is a base. New software can be created using its code. The new software will be open source. But some companies keep the code secret for personal use.

If the company keeps the product or project secret for private purposes without open source, it can only be edited and updated by the developer or host company within the company. But if you make it open source, everyone can see the code inside.

Software engineers, developers and programmers from around the world can access it. It becomes transparent. Whether it's okay or not, anyone can respond to it. Zikzag can correct the written code.

It can be improved and improved by adding appropriate coding and editing it. When thousands of people are brainwashed into a software, then that open source product improves.

If any security vulnerabilities or bugs are found in it, it can be addressed immediately or a report can be submitted. Due to these reasons, the attraction of many companies towards open source is increasing nowadays, says Binod.

"I have an open source project on GitHub, but if anyone comes and sees my project, there is an error in this place. They can add that I want to add this feature, 'says Binod.

He further said, ‘Updates on Android are also due to similar contributions, suggestions and feedback. Tens of thousands of people are volunteering in open source.

He went on to say, "But limited people work on paid software. That's why big tech companies are working in open source to make their projects better. '

GitHub is also an open source platform. If a text is shared and four or five people are editing it at a time, there is a problem. We digitized some code while working, but if we need it tomorrow, we have to recover it. The code created by each developer must be merged.

Linux Torvalds built the Git in the 2000s to solve this problem of open source. This was a version control. Git helps to solve the lack of coordination that appears when many people are working together on the same software.

This helps to control the version. It tracks and records all activities. Git is used to upload code online.

There, the code is securely backed up. In this way, if the code in the git is open source, it can be made public by making a license with the permission of the company and can also be kept secret.

Big companies like Facebook, Google and Microsoft are also open source to make their products better. According to Aju Tamang, open source is also being practiced in Nepal.

Around 2011, the tech operators of Chitwan made the Nepali operating system Chitwanix. According to Aju, the operating system is based on Linux's kernel code.

‘Open source practice was gaining momentum when Chitwanvics was formed, but in the meantime it was stopped for some time and now it is gaining momentum again. It is jumping fast, 'says Aju.

Companies like Lipfrog are also very active in open source work.

But using this open source feature is also essential to contribute to it. Millions of developers, programmers and software engineers from around the world are contributing to it. The essence of open source is to provide any tools and software for free.

Aju says that the communities of those who contribute to such open source are developing in Nepal even though they are few. Although Nepal's first open source community was active in 2011, it failed after two or three years, said Aju.

He says that students, developers and software engineers are feeling the lack of community. However, after companies like Lipfrog persuaded their software engineers to get involved, students began to get involved and its importance began to emerge.

"Community is very important and you can learn a lot from it," says Aju. Learn how to make software, how to code in free software, how to practice and how to handle in the community. '

There are many differences in educational and professional practice in Nepal. Students who want to enter the field of software development will learn a lot from open source, says Aju.

‘Open source software acts as a bridge. It teaches a lot. In the professional career, in the software industry, open source has taught us how to code, how to support and how to solve problems with code. '

According to Binod, the students who have worked in the open source industry have become accustomed to the software industry before starting their careers.

Some time ago, Digital Ocean hosted the Everest Hack to Barfest open source interactive meetup. After the event, the same group started an open source community called Hack to Bearfest, Aju told Tekpana.

"After running Hack to Snow Nepal, we have created an open source community in its name. In which there are different types of projects in frontend and backend algorithms. One can contribute to the project under the guidance of someone in those projects. '

Nepal now has open source communities for programming languages ​​such as Golyan Nepal and Ask Buddy.

No one needs to be a software engineer or developer to contribute to open source. Those who are interested in coding that can understand the programming language can contribute to it.

"Open source is very important for newcomers. Companies are opening vacancies. Experience demands. Then if you have contributed to any open source you can show your work from there. It helps to build a person's portfolio. Maintains credibility, ”says Binod. +

Those who contribute to open source volunteer voluntarily. Someone can write code. But you have to write guide and document in the code. Students who know a little programming language and know how to write documents start with documentation.

For example, if he has experience working in a programming language, he can contribute to the same language. If someone is good at Java, he can do the same. If no code is found, a request can be sent. Can be reviewed Binod says that if the sent request is addressed, it will be counted as a contribution.

Aju says that big companies are also bringing grant projects to encourage them to contribute to the open source program.

Grants can also be obtained from an open source program. Like Google hosts Google Summer of Code. That is a three-month program. Rewards can be obtained if we contribute to open source community projects.

Students can contribute and receive rewards by learning from mentors. With the certificate we get from there and our skills, we can get jobs all over the world. Its recognition is also good. There is also another program called MLH Fellow, ”says Aju.

No matter how big the projects are related to open source, all of them can bring one or another open source related programs to motivate the students and even win prizes by getting mentorship by contributing to those programs, said Aju.

In this way, while working on open source projects, experienced and new developers can hone their skills and gain more knowledge by sharing codes while working on various platforms like Git. But beginners should always learn by looking at the code of good programmers, says Aju.

Instead of spending a lot of dollars to buy foreign software, you can make your own software using any open source. This requires a programming language. If you can make your own software in this way, the security guarantee also depends on yourself.

The open source project, which has access to countless people around the world, addresses bug issues immediately, but it also naturally raises security issues. But the security of open source software depends directly and indirectly, says Binod.

‘Linux OS is open source. It is regulated by the Linux Foundation, 'says Binod.

Anyone can secretly edit Linux software code. But others who edit look at the profile ratings.

In this case, the Linux Foundation oversees it. But if a company is providing software and services using an open source code, it is responsible for its security. It cannot have a direct effect on end users.

Using this kind of software will be a special benefit to various companies and startups emerging in the country.