A Beginner’s Guide to Open Source Understand OSS and How It Can Benefit You

  • Karl Beecher

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Learn everything you need to know about free and open source software (OSS) using this video introduction. You will understand the need for OSS, the motivation behind its emergence, and its philosophy, in particular the contrasting schools of thought in the OSS movement (i.e. free software vs. open source). You will then move on to more detailed, practical matters, beginning with software licensing, the importance of licenses, and the issues surrounding them.

The mechanics of writing open source software are described by demonstrating how it is done in typical, real-world projects. An overview of the OSS ecosystem shows you what tools, applications, and organizations are out there. Finally, you’ll see various testimonies from OSS users and developers explaining why they choose OSS and the benefits they derive from it.

What You Will Learn

  • Begin navigating the OSS phenomenon

  • See the basics of writing proprietary vs. open source software

  • Discover the motivations and principles behind OSS licensing, methods, and tools

  • Understand what requirements a program must meet to be considered OSS

  • Follow the typical development processes for open source projects

Who This Video Is For

These videos are for anyone who wants to begin dipping their toe into open source and are looking for a simple, informative introduction. The video is suitable for programmers or non-programmers, such as non-technical managers and business owners.

About The Author

Karl Beecher

Karl Beecher lives a double life as a writer and software specialist. When being a writer, he focuses on science and technology. He likes to take meaty, complex ideas and present them in ways that are easy to understand. As a software specialist, Karl has worked as a software engineer, earned a PhD in computer science (focusing on open source software), and co-founded a company specializing in open source software. You can find him on Twitter @karlbeecher.


About this video

Karl Beecher
Online ISBN
Total duration
39 min
Copyright information
© Karl Beecher 2019

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Video Transcript


Karl Beecher: Hello and welcome to the Beginner’s Guide to Open Source. My name is Karl Beecher. And in this video course, I’ll introduce you to the phenomenon that is Open Source Software. I’ve used Open Source Software for my whole professional career. I’ve written Open Source Software. I founded a company dedicated to Open Source Software. I’ve even conducted academic research into the whole phenomenon. The information in this course comes from my career spent using, producing, and studying Open Source Software. So in this course, I’m going to take you through the basics of how open source actually works.

We’ll cover the following material. We’ll see where open source came from and why there’s a need for it. We’ll learn about the different kinds of motivations that drive people to use and develop Open Source Software. We’ll learn about software licenses and practical instruments that govern the usage of open source programs. We’ll find out how open source programs are written from conception through to the finished article. We’ll explore the open source ecosystem that’s a complex world of individuals, projects, organizations, and commercial entities. And we’ll see how open source can benefit you.