Home The Latest Facebook backs open source in Corvallis

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

The Scott Kveton affair

News
Wednesday, July 09, 2014
ScottKvetonBY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Scott Kveton, the CEO of Urban Airship is taking a leave of absence from the company. As the story continues to unfold, here’s our perspective on a few of the key players.


Read more...

Charged ride

June 2014
Thursday, May 29, 2014
0614launchBY JESSICA RIDGWAY

Brad Baker, CEO and co-founder of Works Electric, is a good husband. His wife, an OHSU employee, sought a more efficient way to commute up Marquam “Pill” Hill, so she asked Baker to build a transportation solution.


Read more...

Updated: Disrupting innovation

News
Tuesday, July 08, 2014
070814 thumb disputive-innovationBY LINDA BAKER  | OB EDITOR

The New Yorker recently published a sharply worded critique of “disruptive innovation,” one of the most widely cited theories in the business world today. The article raises questions about the descriptive value of disruption and innovation  — whether the terms are mere buzzwords or actually explain today's extraordinarily complex and fast changing business environment. 

Update: We caught up with Portland's Thomas Thurston, who shared his data driven take on the disruption controversy.


Read more...

The barber is back

June 2014
Thursday, May 29, 2014
BY MIKE GREEN

An old profession is new again.


Read more...

Salvage operation

June 2014
Thursday, May 29, 2014
BY JONATHAN FROCHTZWAJG

For Far West Fibers, one of Oregon's largest and oldest mixed-recycling companies, garbage alchemy has long been big business.


Read more...

The business of running a food cart

News
Thursday, June 05, 2014
OBM1BY HANNAH WALLACE | OB BLOGGER

What does it take to launch and run one of these mobile food businesses?  


Read more...

Powerlist: Credit Unions

June 2014
Thursday, May 29, 2014
BY KIM MOORE

A conversation about credit unions with the CEOs of Advantis Credit Union and OSU Federal Credit Union, followed by June's Powerlist.


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