FOSS is the big boy LEGO of the Innovative World | Hacker Noon Hacker Noon profile picture

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Hey Ethical Hackers…Shane from here taking a quick break from writing about the hustle and bustle of keeping your website and company safe.  Today I was thinking about other ways to use Your incredible IT skills.  When free technology is easily available, and You know how to utilize it, You are no longer bound by any limitations. If You think bigger and think outside the box, You can see the bigger picture for Yourself. Let me help You find some new ways of looking at the software world!


Free and open-source (FOSS) software is simply put: hackers collaborating together. They are programmers and designers making their own programs to accomplish specific things, rather than selling the software or keeping it to themselves, they upload it on the internet and make it available and easy for people to contribute or use the project themselves with their own direction, often under a new project name, and these are called a “fork” since the project forked into a different direction.

If you already know this and you’re like blah blah blah what is this noob trying to say… Think of this as a reminder that you have the power to code the next billion-dollar, game-changing product…but you probably just got stuck on Reddit for the last three hours.

Kittens ❤️

When I look at free and open-source software, browsing or, I see project after project, tool after tool.  Through all the boredom and banter it clicked, mostly that I’m slower than molasses in January intellectually, but the truth is still the same…

FOSS is the big boy LEGO of the Innovative World

When looking at a website, or product, or WHATEVER-IT-IS-NOW as a Service (WIISNaaS), looking behind the software and infrastructure running it, my mind is always wondering, “How would I have made this?” 

The simple solution:

  • Look at each component and feature on the website, maybe an internal chat system for support, perhaps a really cool inventory system, or whatever it may be — there’s always cool stuff on the internet.. 
  • Think about how each component can connect to another component, maybe an inventory system with an automated e-mailer or an SMS tool to send text messages from your systems
  • Play with each component until you get it… JUST RIGHT
  • Remember the Golden Rules if you feel more components are needed: “Somebody probably already coded it or made something that’s near like it and can be modified.”

A simple webserver and some brainpower can go a long way

Billion-dollar companies didn’t get planned out as such, they kind of just shifted to being so because the ideas were simple, but the components of the whole system were declared by the user base as ‘awesome.’

Look at what most coders can do today, they can easily make the most complex, rocket-science, OMG, Are You Einstein level things like Bitcoin and Kernels… but let’s take a look at what’s behind some of the most successful publicly traded tech companies of today that are based on Free and Open Source Software (FOSS).

Shopify: Look into the history of Shopify for yourself, it started off as a snowboarding sales website, but the owner figured out that what his back-end code could do was so much more. Boom. Have some billions there, friend.

Facebook: We all know the Zuck. Made his own ‘MySpace’ for colleges so he and others could meet people in colleges. Think of how complex some of your projects are and think if you can make a simple Facebook if you had the spare time. Damn, Billions for this gentleman.

PayPal: Elon Musk’s starter, he coded all night and slept all day, while his brother did the same routine. Living off of a dollar, just $1 a day, realized that bandwidth for financial transactions were low, at the time meaning, it was affordable to build a system that handles lots and lots and lots and lots of payments at once. These people all hacked away, bringing components together, to create something unique.

If they can do it, you have the power to as well.

Don’t forget the main component: You! Hacker Noon profile picture
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