With Microsoft’s announcement in June that it will spend $26 billion to acquire LinkedIn, some developers might wonder whether the social network will continue its longstanding practicing of open-sourcing much of its technology.
If Vice President of Engineering Igor Perisic has anything to say about it, the answer looks like a resounding yes. In an interview with eWeek, Perisic outlined what he saw as the benefits of LinkedIn’s open-sourcing, including sharpening the skills of the company’s own engineers.
“I believe that fundamentally engineers are made better by contributing to open-source projects than just doing things internally,” Perisic told eWeek.
Perisic added that he thought LinkedIn could educate Microsoft a bit on interacting with the developer community.
“I actually think this is a place where we can help Microsoft because their attention to open-source was a little bit later than ours and we can share some of the processes that we have around open-source to encourage individuals to contribute,” Perisic said.
Open-source projects that have come out of LinkedIn include messaging system Kafka; stream-processing framework Samza; Voldemort, a distributed key-value storage system; and Dr. Elephant, which identifies inefficiencies in Hadoop code.
Among the lessons Perisic says the company has learned along the way: Make sure you’re producing good code that is well-documented and doesn’t duplicate an existing open-source project. Choose the right license, and don’t share tech your company considers a competitive advantage. And if a project takes off, let go of having control.
“The project has a right to exist on its own,” Perisic said.