What is Free & Open-Source Software?
Free Software reders to freedom rather than price. As described in Wikipedia:
Free and open-source software (FOSS) is computer software that can be classified as both free software and open-source software. That is, anyone is freely licensed to use, copy, study, and change the software in any way, and the source code is openly shared so that people are encouraged to voluntarily improve the design of the software. This is in contrast to proprietary software, where the software is under restrictive copyright and the source code is usually hidden from the users.
The benefits of using FOSS can include decreasing software costs, increasing security and stability (especially in regard to malware), protecting privacy, and giving users more control over their own hardware. Free, open-source operating systems such as Linux and descendents of BSD are widely utilized today, powering millions of servers, desktops, smartphones (e.g. Android), and other devices. Free software licenses and open-source licenses are used by many software packages.
The video below is a TED talk by the guy who started it all – Richard M Stallman.
You are Probably Already Using It
You may not realise it but you are probably already using Linux and other free software. Most mobile phones & home routers use it. Many games consoles, TVs, set-top boxes and smart cars use it. FOSS technology is the backbone of the internet and is behind many top websites including Wikipedia, Facebook, Twitter, Google and Amazon.
FOSS software has even helped in the production of blockbuster movies such as Harry Potter and Spider-man.
Who else uses it ?
Many of the big employers in Belfast and Dublin need expertise in FOSS software including Web Developers, Software Engineers, SysAdmins, DevOps & Network Engineers.
FOSS software is an enabler for many start-ups, for academic research and for banks and stock exchanges. If that isn’t enough for you, you can also free your desktop too.