3 charts that show how open source developers think

This annual developers' survey shows some of the key reasons for choosing open source. Weigh in on the results.
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Each year, the team at Tidelift asks developers to update us on how they are managing their use of open source dependencies for application development. In June 2019, almost 400 professional software developers responded to our survey with input on "how they use open source software today, what holds them back, and what tools and strategies would help them use it even more effectively."

As we roll out the 2020 survey, we'd like to share some of the fascinating things we learned in 2019's survey results. Where are things going well? And where are they not going so well? Here are three examples.

You can take the 2020 survey right now, and then continue on to some of the most interesting 2019 findings. 

Perceived value of open source vs. proprietary software

When comparing the benefits of working with proprietary software to open source, respondents said the only place where proprietary software still comes out ahead is in the availability of reliable support and consulting.

Comparing open source and proprietary software

(© Tidelift, Inc.)

Reasons to use open source

When choosing to use a new open source package, developers say the most important things to consider are whether it has an acceptable open source license, strong activity volume, and responsive maintainers.

Key factors in choosing open source

(© Tidelift, Inc.)

The growing percentage of open source contributors

The vast majority of developers in our survey sample—an astounding 84%—consider themselves to be active open source contributors.

How often survey respondents contribute to open source

(Copyright © Tidelift, Inc.)

If you would like to review the final survey report, please download it (note that you must enter your contact information to do so).

Share your experience

If you use open source for building applications at work, please consider taking the 2020 managed open source survey. We're eager to get your thoughts on a new set of topics, including:

  • How is the economy impacting your organization's use of open source for application development? Is it increasing or decreasing?
  • What percentage of your applications contain open source code? How much open source code do they have, and how much of it is custom code?
  • Does your organization have policies that allow you to contribute to open source? What do these policies look like?

When you complete the survey, you'll be among the first to get the full results. Thank you to those who take the time to increase everyone's awareness of the state of open source software development.

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Chris Grams is the Head of Marketing at Tidelift and author of The Ad-Free Brand: Secrets to Building Successful Brands in a Digital World. Twitter LinkedIn Email: chris(at)tidelift.com


I think I would consider this about "what open source developers think" rather than "how open source developers think".

At totalcross.com, we made the "jump" to opensource this year! So amazing experience. After a few year working to build a proprietary Virtual Machine, I can tell you, it is not an easy decision to go opensource but it is the right one!

thanks for sharing

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