What can open-source do for you?
Open-source isn't only "free": it is a programming culture
conveying the concepts of code readability, documentation,
reproducibility, and open review.
These concepts can (and should) be applied to the scientific practice (Open Science).
Embracing this culture and getting involved in the community
(even with small contributions!) will offer you
much more than simple "tools":
you will learn from this experience and develop ideas for your own work.
What can you do for open-source?
The responsibility for the development and maintenance of today's major scientific tools changed hands, from private companies to volunteers and academics. Funding agencies and universities are saving money, and this money should be redistributed to the open-source community (directly or indirectly).
Open science takes time! Scientific papers should be evaluated according to new standards: transparency and reproducibility of the analysis chain, availability of data and code and its documentation.
Open source takes time! The work of open source developers should be acknowledged and should become an asset for academic jobs, not a handicap.
Open source = free (as in "free beer")
Free ∈ Open source
Important elements of an open-source project:
“Open-source software is not-reliable / untested / not-working properly.”
Well, it depends:
OS development is self-regulating, and it works best if people actually use the system and report issues.
“If I share my data or code,
people will steal my results and I will be left with nothing.”