This post was most recently updated on December 24th, 2017
GitHub is a web-based Git or version control repository and Internet hosting service. It is mostly used for code. It offers all of the distributed version control and source code management (SCM) functionality of Git as well as adding its own features. It provides access control and several collaboration features such as bug tracking, feature requests, task management, and wikis for every project.
But then again we could be on the money because when you click about on the GitHub site, the first thing you get is:
We’re supporting a community where more than 24 million people learn, share, and work together to build software.
And that is what speaks to us about GitHub, learning, sharing, and working together, for free. Well there are paid options on GitHub, but that’s only for private repositories, so you only pay not to share, amazing. What we are in love with is an open source culture, making resources free for all to access, and joining GitHub was our first step to contributing to the growth of this culture.
A simple Google search shows just how many organisations are making a strong contribution to an open web, access to software, opening their APIs for integration, and we are itching to be a strong contributor, you should too. Times surely have changed, you can now access education on leading skills free on the web, or at very affordable rates, something that was in the realm of impossibility a decade ago. Gaining industry-leading skills meant breaking the bank, and those from less affluent communities did not stand a chance in leaving their mark on the world, but not anymore.
We built Mut-Con on the back of this free culture, and our goal has always been to give back where we can. In fact, 78% of companies both big and small use open source in one way or another, and only 3% don’t use it at all. But “open source” doesn’t mean you are doing it for free. Google is making strong contributions to the open source culture, with many free products and education initiatives even for business, business that might grow to rival them and yet they are currently one of the highest valued corporations, in many regards.
You can do open source profitably. In fact, some completely free software makes a good profit for its organisations. You can read all about making a profit from open source here. But we strongly believe this culture is the business model of the future. Businesses come into being for the purposes of making a profit, and everything they do should be profitable, even social investment. That is the only way the developmental efforts of businesses will be sustainable, therefore making a true difference, and the open source culture shows us there is a way.
Groom your future employees by contributing to free education on the net, offer training on your products free, and a business will sprout up to distribute them, you are contributing to the empowerment of your fellow man and growing your business at the same time. But like any investment, this will take time, so you need to be patient, and stay true to making a true contribution, not just reaping rewards.
As an advisory firm geared towards helping mostly small businesses starting out, we always advise our clients to acquaint themselves with this culture. In it, you will find great opportunities. By embracing the culture, you will get valuable resources that will significantly bring down the cost of getting started, and you will find your future products that you can fork or integrate in some ingenious way into your own offering, but most importantly you will find the inspiration to join the culture, and one day, one person, maybe more, will be better for it.
And that is why joining GitHub is our greatest achievement, because it is our first step to making contributions. It may be taking time to solve bugs on software we use all the way up to the day we realise our goal of building open source analytics platforms and software for small business, it is our first step. And as we take this first step, we would like to thank those who paved the way for us, without whom there would be no Mut-Con.
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