We at Topcoder are extremely thrilled at the news today regarding Apple’s GitHub repository. This is what even the less informed should regard as a “big deal.” 2015 will be remembered as the year Apple has truly embraced “open.” This is a win for developers, businesses, and consumers.
Topcoder has a vested interest in larger organizations embracing the open/crowdsourcing marketplace. Our business is powered by matching unique skills to simple to complex business problems in need of solutions. The power comes from our community of developers, digital designers, and data scientists that today is over 910,000 strong, with 6,500+ developers and designers actively participating in our iOS Community.
GitHub is really the personification of open. GitHub facilitates an evolved level of development by providing a landscape that ensures developer focus is aligned with business needs. Users of GitHub determine what to open up and what to close off, so teams can open source non-critical areas to produce code. GitHub’s architecture of honesty, transparency, and visibility produces better work; open sourcing the work allows for more talent to lend their specific skills and expertise to finite elements of work.
Topcoder loves GitHub and we make smart use of it, as often as possible, in our work with our crowdsourcing customers. Topcoder works by breaking down complex problems into small components of work that members self-select to compete on. The competitive process incents high participation and produces quality results for customers. Our approach coincides perfectly those of with Git and GitHub, as they essentially enable many hands to make light work. Many Topcoder efforts leverageGitHub to open source, parallelize, and automate large swaths of work. Customers benefit through simultaneously development at scale. Developers benefit because — regardless of their skill level and location in the world — they can contribute to a major initiative.
Topcoder also loves Apple. We’re working with Apple to help increase our developers’ knowledge and skills in the Swift programming language. As Apple continues to evolve the way they service the enterprise market, a growing, skilled community of Swift developers will play a huge role in supporting that ascension. By engaging the developers in real-world Swift development efforts, we have created a powerful community that will be fluent in the use of Swift.
Apple’s decision to embrace “open” will have a massive impact to the development of all future applications. By open sourcing their Swift programming language, Apple has afforded itself the opportunity to more quickly build out the capabilities of the Swift programming language, as well as provide their talented engineers with an opportunity to gain insight into their own software by observing how others build with Swift. The ability to build and curate at the same time — which Apple is doing through GitHub — will both increase the quality and capabilities of the Swift programming language within a much shorter timeframe than a more traditional, non-open development process.