Red Hat is excited to announce the finalists for the 2017 Women in Open Source Awards. In its third year, the Women in Open Source Award seeks to honor women who make important contributions to open source projects and communities or make innovative use of open source technology. Meet the finalists in the Community Award category and Academic Award category, and then cast your vote. Voting is now open and ends March 6, 2017. Winners will be announced at Red Hat Summit 2017, taking place May 2-4 in Boston.
Blockchain isn't a household buzzword, like the cloud or the Internet of Things. It's not an in-your-face innovation you can see and touch as easily as a smartphone or a package from Amazon. But when it comes to our digital lives–every digital transaction; exchange of value, goods and services; or private data–blockchain is the answer to a question we've been asking since the dawn of the internet age: How can we collectively trust what happens online? Every year we run more of our lives–more core functions of our governments, economies, and societies–on the internet. Think of blockchain as a historical fabric underneath recording everything that happens exactly as it occurs. Then the chain stitches that data into encrypted blocks that can never be modified and scatters the pieces across a worldwide network. Blockchain always has an immutable "ledger" that you can see, verify, and control. At the same time, it has no single point of failure from which records or digital assets can be hacked or tampered with. Because of its distributed-ledger technology, blockchain has applications across every kind of digital record and transaction. And in 2017 we'll begin to see them explode.
Everyone wants to use and participate in an open source software environment but sadly not everyone knows how to do it right. This is the perspective of Matt Hicks, vice president of engineering for Red Hat's OpenShift. The rules seem straightforward enough: Get to know the community and the people who participate in it. Put technology before individual business goals. Also put the community "first" first. Beware of "pay for play" and unbalanced communities. Be open. Think "derivatives," not "forks". Contribute wisely. No crying. What drove him to come up with these rules is the growing popularity of open source, which brings with it numbers of people who really don't know how it works. "Here's what makes really good communities thrive and how to have more influence when you work with it all day," he explained.
Open source software is everywhere. It underpins virtually the entire technology sector, with every single element of IT relying on at least one open source component. The main attraction of open source software for many is that it's free. For programmers and developers, the benefits of releasing your creations as open source software are increased feedback and collaboration. Your peers are free to change and improve your code, adding features you may not have thought of or simplifying it to make it more efficient. "But wait," you might say, "if open source software is free, then how can companies like Red Hat and Canonical make money from it?" This is because organisations that specialise in open source products don't generally make money from sales of the software itself - anyone can download and use it. Instead, many will offer an enhanced version of their products that enterprises can pay to use. These commonly include greater flexibility, more features and easier management and maintenance options. Another tactic often used by open source vendors is to provide the software freely, but to withhold official support and other additional services from companies that haven't taken out a contract. Since business IT relies on minimising downtime as much as possible, strong support is essential which makes this tactic very effective.
Anyone who has dipped their toe in the enterprise mobility space realizes how quickly the technologies, approaches, frameworks and goals change. The one point of success that shines through in any of these efforts is clear though – developers are clever and quickly find tools to aid in solving the task at hand. If a developer picks a technology to work with, there's probably a good reason for it. With this in mind, it was with great pride that the Red Hat Mobile team was invited to attend and accept an award at the 2017 Developer Week Devie Awards for our Mobile Application Platform. While many such award ceremonies are driven by marketing and analysts, this was a bit different as two of the main criteria were being well regarded by the developer community and being recognized as leaders in innovation. So to all the developers out there who regard us so highly – thank you!