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What it takes to be an Open Source Rookie

In our Open Source Rookies of the Year report, we honor the most innovative and influential open source projects released to the community the previous year.

What it takes to be an Open Source Rookie

The spirit of open source can be summarized as trust in the development community to work together to create, evolve, and maintain software products with such transparency that others can leverage these accomplishments for further innovation. It is this spirit that Synopsys seeks to recognize each year with its Open Source Rookies of the Year report, in which we honor the most innovative and influential open source projects released to the community the previous year. Congratulations to each Open Source Rookie!

2018 is the Rookies report’s 10th anniversary, and this year’s honorees exemplify the core tenets of open source. They push the boundaries of technological innovation, build on the contributions of projects before them, lay the foundation for projects that succeed them to innovate, and engage the community for material contributions to—and strategic guidance on—the projects themselves.

To fully understand their achievement, let’s explore this year’s Rookies’ contributions in each of these areas.

Open sourcing technological innovation

Open Source Rookies of the Year employ technology in unique ways to push beyond traditional barriers. In some instances, like this year’s RChain (scalable blockchain), Apollo (autonomous driving platform), ONAP (virtual network function orchestration), and Haven (mobile situational awareness), the projects comprise some impressive and complicated technologies.

In other instances, like this year’s Monica (personal relationship management), Common Voice (human voice data collection), and Prettier (opinionated code formatting), the technology may be more straight-forward and conventional, but it is structured, manipulated, and organized in a way that derives great significance.

Standing on the shoulders of giants

Some Rookies benefit from the advancements made by earlier open source projects, either their own or those of the greater open source community. ONAP aggregates nearly a half dozen projects from the Linux Foundation and AT&T. RChain turns to the contributions of the Ethereum community and Casper proof-of-stake protocol. Common Voice incorporates the technological advancements of projects like Mycroft, Snips, and Dat Project. And Haven is broadening its scope to include a plethora of hardware sensors to deliver endpoint-based situational awareness across a remarkable variety of devices.

Teaching a man to fish

Other Rookies want their projects to be an enablement solution for future and current projects to achieve their own success by building on the foundation these Rookies establish. Apollo is driven to be an open autonomous driving platform, flexible architecture, and simulation engine to accelerate innovation in the connected and autonomous vehicle markets. Common Voice is keenly focused on collecting human voice data to provide a shared, reliable dataset with which to train machine learning models for speech technologies. Prettier is enabling barrier-free cooperation and collaboration among development teams by providing a common style and framework for popular programming languages.

Trusting the community to benefit the community

This year, the role of communities was evident and pervasive across our honorees. The community contributed to the open source projects via code repositories, social promotion, financial support, strategic guidance, and many other material ways. Each of these projects saw remarkable engagement from the community to evolve its condition and its path, often with the participation of hundreds of individuals and dozens of organizational partnerships, and each project had a goal to benefit communities beyond its own.

Haven garnered inspiring support and collaboration from the Freedom of the Press Foundation to protect sensitive assets and the physical security of people around the world. Monica drew support from the many marginalized communities who are poised to extract their own distinct benefit from the project in their daily lives. Prettier touches on the challenges that today’s software-driven world faces within its diverse workgroups, and the very essence of Common Voice lies within the personal vocal qualities of the world’s nearly 7 billion people.

The Apollo team recognizes that data belongs to the community and should be used to facilitate innovation. RChain is charging forward to enable the creation of a scalable, secure, and sustainable blockchain to implement a decentralized global compute infrastructure without draining the world’s energy resources. And ONAP plays a fundamental role in the success of 5G cellular networks, backed by carriers whose customers—like you and me—represent 60% of the world’s mobile subscribers.

This year’s Open Source Rookies honorees are breaking down barriers of innovation and community engagement to fundamentally influence the technological future. We tip our hats to the teams, their partners, their supporters, and the communities that compel them to achieve remarkable things.

Steven Zimmerman

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Steven Zimmerman

Steven Zimmerman

Steven Zimmerman is a Staff Product Marketing Manager for Synopsys Software Integrity Group, focusing on helping organizations establish a cohesive, resilient application security strategy with developers and software engineers built-in at critical stages. His work supports shift-left software security initiatives and DevSecOps, ensuring enterprise agility and continuous workflows without impeding development.

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