Sponsored by Oregon Business

Facebook backs open source in Corvallis

| Print |  Email
The Latest
Wednesday, February 16, 2011

By Ilie Mitaru

Facebook has awarded a $50,000 grant to Oregon State University’s Open Source Lab. The lab was established in Corvallis in 2005 as a nonprofit, and is currently sponsored by the likes of IBM and Google.

The Facebook grant will allow the lab to provide infrastructure testing to open source projects—many of which have the potential to turn into commercial enterprises.

Testing is a critical part of software development, and while companies generally have dedicated resources available for this task, the same isn't always true for open source projects, which are often staffed by volunteers. Now Supercell—the project’s name—offers this testing free of charge.

“Open source has played an important role in the development of Facebook really from the beginning,” says Scott MacVicar, open source developer advocate for Facebook, who has worked with the OSU lab. “As we work with startups, a common theme is their need for solid infrastructure and development tools so that they can focus more energy on building really compelling social products.”

Portland-based Puppet Labs provides a persuasive testament to the possibilities of open source: founded in 2005 by Luke Kanies as an open source project, the company has grown quickly to 34 employees at a new office.  Puppet's management software is available free online. The company makes money by helping its clients train new users or upgrade to new versions.

It is these kinds of projects—and their well-paying jobs—that city officials hope to foster through Portland’s Economic Development Strategy. The strategy identifies four key areas, or clusters for growth. The “software cluster” stresses the potential of open source for the region’s economic growth.

“I think open source development has continued steadily in Oregon but it’s seeing a real resurgence right now.” Leslie Hawthorn, open source outreach manager for the OSU lab, predicts, "We'll see even more of these open source focused companies in the future.”

Ilie Mitaru is an associate writer for Oregon Business.

 

More Articles

10 Oregon companies positioning themselves for growth

The Latest
Friday, March 13, 2015
vcthumbBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Ten startups have secured venture capital, angel or seed funding in 2015.


Read more...

VIDEO: The 2015 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon

The Latest
Friday, February 27, 2015

videothumbVIDEO: 2015 100 Best Companies to work for in Oregon


Read more...

All Rise

March 2015
Friday, February 20, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN | OB CONTRIBUTOR

Don’t just sit there. For a healthy workplace, move up and down — and all around.


Read more...

5 questions for inDinero CEO Jessica Mah

The Latest
Tuesday, March 31, 2015
jessicathumbBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

inDinero, a business that manages back-office accounting for startups and smaller companies, recently announced it would relocate its headquarters from San Francisco to Portland. We talked to CEO Jessica Mah about what drew her to Portland and how she plans to disrupt the traditional CPA model.


Read more...

Money Talks

March 2015
Saturday, February 21, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Will community banks survive the digital age? Three CEOs peer into banking's crystal ball.


Read more...

Downtime with the executive director of Greater Portland Inc.

April 2015
Thursday, March 26, 2015

Janet LaBar, Executive director, Greater Portland Inc.


Read more...

The Road to Reinvention

April 2015
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN

Damian Smith bets on changing himself — and Portland — through consulting.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS