Do you sometimes miss source code from your previous projects? Or have you lost some code for hardware failure or other reason? It’s all in the Lost Ark of source code.
I started my career at Nokia Mobile Phones as junior developer working with low level graphics rendering components. It was very fun and educating time and I am still grateful for working with such great people and absolutely professional developers. In this particular sweatshop millions and millions lines of code was produced over the years. Most of that was, of course, obsolete and written especially for some old Nokia products. As many of people following the news know, the whole mobile phone department was sold to Microsoft in 2014 thanks to bad management decisions or whatever you want to blame that for. As of this deal, all the source code as well as other intellectual property moved to them. What really has bugged me over the years is: where did all the source code go and does it even exist anymore?
I have programmed most of my life starting from the elementary school. Not sure how many projects I have worked with on my free time but the number must be huge. Unfortunately, most of source code I have produced has also gone to the Lost Ark because of changing hardware and most importantly lack of the internet in the early ages. I would find it very amusing to turn back the time and look how I’ve done software when I was 12 years old and I am pretty sure this is the case for most of the developers.
Opening the Lost Ark
What would happen if all lost code in the world would suddenly appear in the internet as open source for everyone to read? Would it be good or bad thing?
For the global developer community I would see it very good thing— it would reveal good ideas, design patterns and code snippets in successful projects that could be reused in the future. Also it might be an eye opener for people to see how much work is required to make some product tick. On the downside it could reveal possible security issues and bugs with existing products that are no longer maintained but are still in use.
For a single developer it might be good or bad, depending of your history. Especially if you have ever done something suspicious or unethical code, it could make you harm or even end your career all together. On the other hand, it could also open up your possibilities for recruiters/bosses to see how awesome programmer you are by showing off your previous work.
At least I would really much like to see, and even share it to the world, the source code of my Nokia time project, Splatter, and couple of other projects I have worked with. Do you have some projects you have forgotten but would like to see them once again? I bet we all do.