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Why your company needs an open source program office

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We seem to be very confused about what constitutes an “open source company.” Tobie Langel has asked if Mozilla and Microsoft are open source companies. The majority (78%) think Mozilla is, and an almost equivalent percentage (67%) think Microsoft is not. Yet, Microsoft contributes orders of magnitude more open source code than Mozilla. The reality is that both organizations qualify as “open source companies.” Hopefully yours does, too.

Which is why you need an open source office.

Only for the big companies?

If you think an open source program office is only for big companies, you’re right. Or so the survey data would seem to suggest.

As a recent survey from The New Stack uncovers, the bigger you are, the more likely you are to have a formal open source program.

Perhaps even more tellingly, the more you think of yourself as a technology company, the more likely you are to have formal open source programs. How much more likely? Roughly twice as likely (77% vs. 37%), according to the survey.

It makes sense that larger companies would have the staff and inclination to formalize how they engage open source communities. Importantly, those companies that have open source program offices tend to use and contribute more open source code