Learn New Things Through Open Source

Technology is changing every year and it can be easy to fall behind or even become obsolete if you don’t stay up to date or worse don’t update software. For a long time I used to think that the software we use every day must be bought or otherwise pirated in order to stay current. That was until I was introduced to open source software. When I was shown the awesomeness of open source software, price restrictions, old software, and compatibility issues were no longer a concern. Learning new skills or software is easy when you don’t have to worry about such restrictions.

What is Open Source and why it’s awesome?

The following is an excerpt taken from OpenSource.org

“Open source software is software that can be freely used, changed, and shared (in modified or unmodified form) by anyone. Open source software is made by many people, and distributed under licenses that comply with the Open Source Definition.”

Open source software is awesome because it is free and often times has a dedicated community of supporters that regularly update it. Also this community understands the importance of compatibility between software and platforms. So more often than not you will find open source software that is cross platform compatible and can open all major file formats regardless of age. Also the wide variety of software that’s available provides you the opportunity to learn and practice a new skill for fun or add it to your professional skill set. The community behind each project provides educational guides and other tools so people can learn their software. The only downside to open source software is the difference in the interface and how some features might behave. Proprietary software is protected by copyright, and to avoid legal trouble open source software is changed in appearance and how it functions in some ways.

While learning the new software and developing skills, you can participate and give back to the community in a variety of ways. You can report bugs, help support by providing solutions for people that run into problems, write / edit documentation for the project, provide code, suggest features, and simply get others to use it.

What can you learn or do with open source software?

The following is list of topics with the associated software.

Office Administration

Open Office

3D Modeling / Animation


Accounting / Finance


Digital Art / Photo Editing



CAD / Drafting


Web Design / Development





Flash Animation / Scripting

Pencil Animation

SWF Tools

Video Editing



Password Management




For more great open source software check out this wiki page.

Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *