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Should Anyone Knock On Your Door and Gain Access to Your Source Code?

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Daliah Okoro
Daliah Okoro
July 13, 2016

Recently, the industry has been facing pressure to opt for open source codes. With many companies following suit, the demand has even traveled up to the White House. Indeed, the White House initiative recently stated that the federal government will now be operating on a modified open source code platform.

In the Second Open Government National Action Plan, the government has stated that they will now be releasing a draft of the Federal Source Code for public comment. This decision has benefits to both the government as well as the taxpayer. This initiative essentially states that all new software that is developed for federal agencies will now be made available for re-use and sharing across federal agencies. Also, the initiative also says that a portion of the source code used for federal agencies will then be shared and released to the public. The benefit of this to the government is that it will promote collaboration as well as innovation across all federal agencies. Also, it benefits the taxpayer because the taxpayer will now save money since by sharing these source codes, duplicative software purchases can now be avoided. These costs would not have been able to be avoided before when agencies were kept in the dark about source codes that were being used across agencies.

While there are some advantages to open source coding, there are also some disadvantages as well. For example, with open source codes, the coding is out there for all the public to see. This means that if you are or your business releases its code, you are now opened to potential embarrassment. If your code is not the best or there are some kinks, it is there for all to see. Also, with open source coding, it means that there is the potential for malicious users to see any vulnerabilities within the code and to then exploit those areas. While there are pros and cons to opening access to source codes, it is always essential to stay in the loop and become familiar with the growing trends in the tech world.

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