Open source at work

Categories: Office Tips

Migrating from a proprietary licensed mindset into open source can be perceived as a pretty challenging task. It is incredibly common for me to see that branding power often blinds people in a way that the functionalities of a software are disregarded in favor of the comforting sound of a brand name.

What does all that marketing blah blah means?

At my work, all new computers have open source software on it. The email client, office suite, browser, image editor, project management software and programming tools are all installed in the new employee’s computer from his/her day one.

But, the adaptation isn’t immediate. The icon, the menu bar, the layout are all excuses for a fuss: “I can’t do this, I can’t do that, where is the icon for this!?” After some guidance and explanation of functions, everything is settled and peace restored.

In your company, if you’d like to start introducing open source programs to support the cause, to reduce costs, or even to have the possibility to tailor some programs to your specific needs, don’t worry it can be much easier than you’d think.

Open source is fit for whom?

For the generalist worker, open source programs will go above and beyond the level of functionality compared to proprietary solutions. It is realistic to say though that some employees will need complex tools to work at full speed. For these team members, proprietary software can be rightfully requested.

How would your company make the transition?

If you’re a part of a large company, make changes with one or two programs at a time. All new employees though make sure they start with the most number of open source tools as you’d like. During the migration process, hold workshops to guide the team and be available to assist at other times when needed.

Overall, be supportive of your team and don’t hesitate to make the move. In the end, open source at work is an easier work than you might have thought!