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

LEED for weed

Linda Baker
Wednesday, January 28, 2015
012815-potcarbon-thumbBY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

What is the impact of the legal pot industry on carbon emissions?


Read more...

6 chiefs of staff dish on their bosses

The Latest
Thursday, February 05, 2015
legilistiblog-thumbBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

We ask chiefs of staff for the scoop on Oregon legislators.


Read more...

Meeting Facilities Perspective

March 2015
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
BY KIM MOORE | OB RESEARCH EDITOR

A conversation with Donna Earley, director of sales and marketing for the Salem Convention Center.


Read more...

How Oregon will survive the loss of Hanjin

March 2015
Friday, February 20, 2015
BY JOE CORTRIGHT | OB CONTRIBUTOR

"Shipping containers to Portland is like waiting for a bus that travels once a day."


Read more...

Beam Me Up

April 2015
Thursday, March 19, 2015
BY DAN COOK | Photos by Jason E. Kaplan

An alliance of developers, academics and timber industry executives wants to position Oregon as a front runner in the glamorous new world of wooden skyscrapers.


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...

MBA Perspective

February 2015
Tuesday, January 27, 2015
BY KIM MOORE

Robin Anderson, dean of the Pamplin School of Business, University of Portland: "You need people who are comfortable leading in ambiguity."


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