Why Are There So Many Competing Open Source Projects?

Four young children running down a rural path surrounded by tall grasses. They are wearing semi-transparent rain ponchos in red, blue, green, and blue.

It has happened to all of us: you go looking for a software package to solve a problem and you find a great open source project. And then another. And another. Why does this happen?

In my latest post for The Pragmatic Programmers, I talk about the reason that there are so many open source projects solving the same problem. Sometimes the abundance has good reasons. Sometimes it doesn’t. But these competing projects help advance the state of the art. Innovation happens when there’s competition.

This post’s featured photo by Vitolda Klein on Unsplash.

Ben formerly led open source messaging at Docker and was the Fedora Program Manager. He is the author of Program Management for Open Source Projects. Ben is an Open Organization Ambassador and frequent conference speaker. His personal website is Funnel Fiasco.


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