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Facebook wants to grow open source community

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Facebook is already reaching new heights in the world of social networking. However, the aim of the internet company is not just to succeed as a social networking site but also to expand its existing open source community.

Mark Zuckerberg had picked solutions like Apache, PHP and MySQL to build Facebook as a social platform back in 2004. This was the first big open source move by Zuckerberg. But that was not the only one. Since the official launch of the Facebook site in February 2004, the Menlo Park-headquartered company has developed several projects like React, React Native and HHVM to contribute back to the open source community.

“We see lots of advantages in bringing the community and industry together to openly share ideas about how to solve new engineering problems caused by scale, how to innovate faster and how to share insights into the sort of technical challenges that Facebook needs to address,” said James Pearce, open source head at Facebook, in an exclusive interview with Open Source For You.

The Facebook developer team under the guidance of Pearce and Zuckerberg developed the Open Compute Project (OCP) to bring the same creativity and collaboration to the hardware space that was initially limited to open source software.

“Through the OCP community, we have been able to break open the traditional black box of proprietary infrastructure and foster a collaborative and open community around the world,” Pearce said.

Although various worldwide regions are closely working with Facebook to expand its open source projects, India is considered as the largest country for developers building with Facebook outside of the US.

“India is an important country for Facebook, and the largest country for developers building with Facebook outside of the US,” Pearce told Open Source For You.

In addition to open source contributions, Pearce stated that the whole APAC is one of the fastest-growing regions for developers building with Facebook. The company is also helping individual developer communities grow their presence using FbStart programme.

“We created FbStart, a programme designed to help developers and early-stage mobile startups build and grow their applications. India provides the most FbStart members in APAC,” Pearce revealed.

Going forward, Facebook is set to move beyond traditional developer platforms and choose emerging concepts like artificial intelligence and machine learning. Pearce also detailed the efficiency of opting open source solutions over some proprietary ones.

Catch the full interview James Pearce and read about Facebook’s upcoming open source moves in the October issue of our Open Source For You magazine. To subscribe, visit the website today.