San Francisco Institutes Open Source Software Policy
Tech students take note: the city of San Francisco recently announced a new software policy where Open Source is now the rule of the land. At least where city employees and certain websites are concerned.
Mayor Gavin Newsom instituted the nation’s first open source software policy (effective February 1) for the government last week in a bid to allow various free software applications to find their way into the mix when city departments are considering using new software. Newsom’s directive still allows departments to purchase commercial software, but they are required to now consider and weigh open source options if that purchase will cost $100,000 or more.
The move is expected to save the cash strapped city by the bay millions of dollars annually in software costs. Those savings will allow the city to make a dent in its deficit while raising the visibility of open source programs which rarely are given wide berth by corporations or governments.
Under Newsom’s directive new software purchases, including non-application software, such as databases, operating systems, web application servers are included.
WordPress is already a favorite of San Francisco, the content management system powering several city sites including Recoverysf.org, Datasf.org, and the mayor’s site at Sfmayor.org. The city has also integrated its informational 311 system with Twitter, allowing followers to notify the city about certain problems related to services such as pothole repair, abandoned vehicles, graffiti removal, streetlight repair, park maintenance, and other matters.
Of course this is good news for students who are well versed at coding and are trying to gauge what will be available to them post graduation. As all kinds of software applications find their way into every facet of our lives, this field remains bright. And, with cities, corporations, and individuals seeking to save money, your open source college project just may find its way in front of a larger, perhaps global audience.