Microsoft has historically been prone to hyperbole around open source. (Executives have called it “a cancer” and compared it to communism.) Only five years ago, it seemed unlikely that Microsoft would deign to use open source software, but now there are more contributors to open source on GitHub from Microsoft than any other organization.
Microsoft’s Visual Studio team recently abandoned its outdated biases around open source, adopting the Git version control system and building tools to support it, even though Git competed with Microsoft’s own version control systems.
Edward Thomson explains how the Visual Studio team convinced Microsoft to embrace and extend open source (without extinguishing it), covering the mistakes they made along the way, and outlines how you can convince your organization to use—or better still, contribute to—open source software.
Edward Thomson is a senior program manager at Microsoft, where he focuses on Git and the version control tools in Visual Studio Team Services and ensures that customers are successful while using them. Previously, he was a software engineer building version control tools at Microsoft, GitHub, and SourceGear. He remains the maintainer of the libgit2 project. Edward is the author of the Git for Visual Studio training course from O’Reilly and a contributor to Professional Team Foundation Server 2013.
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