Over the years, open source has become a way of working that allows people to modify and share designs to inspect, alter, and enhance source code. This has led to a range of benefits for users of open source such as having more control over software, better security, more stability, and an inspired community.

Earlier this year, Mark Boost, CEO at Civo, spoke with OpenUK as part of their yearly report to discover the UK’s journey with open source. This report looked at survey outputs, literature reviews, case studies, and different thought leadership to conclude the phases of the open source journey. Throughout this blog, we will look at how Civo has contributed to open source and what steps we plan to take going forward.

What is Civo’s open source journey?

Before Civo was founded, Mark Boost had already started on the open source journey with his first company LCN. Whilst being a smaller company with no external funding, LCN considered itself a consumer of open source software rather than a contributor due to a lack of funding, staff, and resources. Boost commented on this by saying:

“As much as we had the ambitions to give back to open source at the time, it was tough to do so as we were trying to make ends meet”.

Civo was born after the team noticed the need for a community-led cloud platform, focussing purely on Kubernetes. This allowed Civo’s founders to put open source at the forefront of what is done.

“Compared to when I launched LCN, Civo has more funds so we have more freedom to choose where to spend our time and money, so we can give back more and become the company we want to be… I would say the shift from consuming to contributing is so important - companies like us wouldn’t exist without it," explained Boost.

Since 2018, our team has worked to improve and refine the Civo platform, listening to feedback from our amazing community along the way. Mark Boost spoke with OpenUK about how we have been able to achieve our growth with the use of open source:

“There’s no way we could have built products from scratch with a handful of the developers, we’d be locked away for years building Apache or equivalent. It gives companies massive opportunities to kickstart projects and build software and speed up the development cycle”.

If you are interested in learning more about our story and the team behind Civo, visit our about page.

How does Civo contribute to open source?

Since being formed, Civo has worked on a range of initiatives to contribute to open source. Mark Boost commented on this by saying, “I believe it’s important that we contribute to open source and give back to communities in general”. Civo currently contributes to open source through our free Academy, community-driven approaches, and open source projects outlined on GitHub.

Civo Academy

Industry experts at Civo created over 60 video guides and tutorials designed to help users navigate Kubernetes: from understanding the basic need for and function of containers, to launching and scaling your first cluster. These courses are run by Kunal Kushwaha, Saiyam Pathak, Kai Hoffman, Alex Jones, and Anaïs Urlichs.

Mark Boost commented on Civo’s contribution to open source by outlining how our free Academy has worked:

“We’ve developed 60 videos on our website, completely free for learning, to give back to grass roots. For us, it’s been a lot more than just saying we’re contributing to open source software, it was a decision as a company about what sort of company we want to be and developing open and transparent values.”

Civo Community

One of the top challenges found by OpenUK when organizations go through the recruitment process is the lack of coding skills or technical expertise. Mark Boost commented on how the recruitment process at Civo works by saying:

“Most of our hires now come from our Slack community, where people have reached out to us, and we’ve hired people. It’s amazing when you see these people out there who from the goodness of their own heart develop code and contribute to your projects. It’s a very powerful thing.”

Civo has a Slack community of over 14,000 people who are able to connect on open source topics and get support on our products and tools. Through this channel, we can communicate with users about how we can further our open source contributions to create a better user experience. OpenUK found that 62% of organizations found that community contributions are one of the key benefits when utilizing open source software.

Civo on GitHub

The main open source projects from Civo are available to everyone to examine and contribute to on GitHub. Mark Boost commented on Civo’s use of GitHub by saying:

“In Civo today, we have a number of projects on GitHub that are open source and available to use. Some of those are quite specific to Civo, so you can only use them with Civo. But we’ve decided to open source and in theory people can fork that code, and use it for other projects."

Civo users may come across the Civo Command Line Interface (CLI) whilst creating a cluster. Users will also see Civo Marketplace which is open to everyone, and as a result, users can create a pull request where they can showcase their own applications.

Also, whilst creating a cluster from the Civo User Interface, users would have seen Civo’s Marketplace, where third-party applications and databases can be installed and put into clusters. Civo Marketplace is open to everyone; as a result, users can create a pull request to showcase their own applications.

Similarly, there are other open source projects with great importance, including the Terraform and Crossplane Provider for Civo, the Kubernetes Cloud Controller Manager, the Golang client for interacting with Civo’s API known as Civogo, and much more!

Moving forwards

Whilst Civo’s journey with open source is not complete, we are excited to continue contributing to the growth of open source. Mark Boost summarized his thoughts on Civo’s journey by stating:

“It’s been a lot more than just saying it’s open source software, it was a decision as a company about what sort of company we want to be”.

If you want to get involved and learn more about how we plan to contribute to open source, follow us on Twitter or sign up to Civo to get the latest insights from our community and experience Kubernetes the Civo way!