Open source in the company: use it yourself? With pleasure! Contribute? No thank you.

open source in the company use it yourself with pleasure.jpg
open source in the company use it yourself with pleasure.jpg

At least in the data science industry, the willingness to contribute to open source projects no longer seems high. That shows a report from Anaconda.


Companies still like and use open source software frequently. However, fewer and fewer of them seem willing to contribute to the projects themselves. This emerges from survey data from the software provider Anaconda. For its “State of Data Science” report, the company surveys its own community, which is primarily fed by the data science environment, every year.


Accordingly, the use of open source software in a professional context is still very popular: 87 percent of those surveyed stated that free software was used in their company. This is not the case for 8 percent, and 5 percent were unsure. Conversely, the narrow majority still answered that their employer encouraged them to participate in OSS projects (52 percent). Last year, however, this value was 65 percent, a full 13 percentage points higher. The Anaconda Report speculates that the decline may have come about “perhaps because of safety concerns.”

These concerns seem to be at least the biggest hurdle for companies that don’t rely on open source software themselves. At least that’s what most of the employees (54.5 percent) from these almost 8 percent of the companies think. One of the main reasons: Log4Shell, the security hole in Log4j. A quarter of the companies in which the respondents work have used less open source software since the vulnerability in the open Java library occurred, and a further 15 percent say they have already reduced their use.

For the “State of Data Science” report, Anaconda interviewed 3,494 people from 133 countries. The survey took place between April 25 and May 14, 2022. Because the respondents came from the Anaconda community, i.e. from e-mail lists and visitors to the company’s website and social media presence, the figures in the report are not representative. Nevertheless, due to the high number of respondents, they probably show tendencies that should at least apply to the data science industry.

The prepared report is available for download upon submission of personal data. However, Anaconda provides the raw data without any hurdles.

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Brian Adam
Professional Blogger, V logger, traveler and explorer of new horizons.