Despite its efforts, Microsoft has generally been seen as an anti-open source company. So much so, that Vice President of LinkedIn Igor Perisic was asked about their policies going forward.
The question came in an interview with eWeek, who focused almost entirely on the philosophy in their interview. Perisic confirmed that LinkedIn will continue to focus on open-sourcing, and even hopes to teach Microsoft a thing or two:
“Before the close, I am actually not aware of one thing or another. But I will express my opinion. I don’t see it changing at all. The same mechanisms would apply… I actually think this is a place where we can help Microsoft because their attention to open-source was a little bit later than ours and we can share some of the processes that we have around open source to encourage individuals to contribute.”
Many of LinkedIn’s solutions have leveraged open source software, Perisic says, and as such, the culture has been built into the company from the very beginning.
“contributing to the open-source community is just being part of the community of engineers,” he claims, “for us, what we get in terms of benefit is that we continue to grow the talent of our engineers—because I believe that fundamentally engineers are made better by contributing to open-source projects than just doing things internally.”
LinkedIn’s Open Source Projects
Voldemort was one of LinkedIn’s first forays into open source technology. The distributed key value store is used internally to power some of the company’s critical services. More recently, the firm released Samza. The stream processing framework helps developers to build applications that utilize feeds of messages and update databases.
The biggest reward from open source is seeing it help others, says Persic, “It’s an accomplishment. I feel proud of having set up an environment where that developer has a feeling that they can create such a thing and it gets picked up by the community and fosters innovation around it. I’m more than excited seeing how Kafka has transformed the industry and created companies around it. Confluent is a company that was built around Kafka.”
As LinkedIn’s influence on Microsoft grows, it may bring more light to the company’s numerous open-source projects, and begin to reverse the negative image they have been fighting against.