Can Israel lead the open source code revolution?

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It wasn’t that long ago that the term open source was barely heard among the Israeli programming community. But a quiet revolution has taken place in Israel. And surprisingly, it’s not just startups that have embraced open source code, with larger organizations, including government departments and the IDF, embracing the change as well. Evidence of this revolution is everywhere, and open source code companies have grabbed the headlines.

Among the companies in the news is startup Snyk, which is based in Israel and London and develops and markets software that helps developers find and fix vulnerabilities in third-party code modules. Snyk raised $ 150 million in his last round, according to a company valuation of over $ 1 billion. Other companies include Herzliya-based xs: code and CodeFresh, which offers tools for developing, testing, and deploying applications on the open source Kubernetes container orchestration system and recently raised $ 27 million. dollars.

Oren Yunge investor at GGV Capital. Photo: GGV Capital

These examples are just the tip of the iceberg of the open source code trend in Israel. Some of the world’s greatest open source programmers, as well as companies like Elastic, JFrog, and Redis, are all taking their first steps in Israel.

Sometimes it takes longer for large companies to embrace the open source concept, as many of them still operate on the premise that closed source is safer, from a security and business perspective. But this attitude is changing. Even large organizations in Israel are embracing open source code, including the IDF and several government departments. According to the IDF spokesperson: “The change in attitude is not necessarily due to the desire to reduce costs, but comes from the desire to find solutions more quickly. This allows the military to use more developers and have more options that will allow them to accomplish missions more effectively. GitHub, OpenStack, and Hadoop have all become popular platforms with the IDF, and over time with large enterprises as well.

Until recently, the IDF only used .NET services because they were considered more secure and were supported by Microsoft. But several years ago, the IDF started carrying out more projects using open source tools after realizing that open source platforms allow programmers to be more creative and innovative and that open source code is essentially more secure than closed source code. As legendary American software developer Eric S. Raymond stated in Linus’ Law he formulated, “with enough eyeballs, all bugs are superficial.”

The Ministry of Science and Technology announced in 2019 an increase in the use of open source code among ministries, replacing Microsoft’s services. The ministry presented the advantages that open source offers to governments, including lower costs, greater flexibility, preventing a situation in which a ministry is confined to a single supplier, better products and improved security.

Matrix is ​​one of the leading examples of open source code adoption in the business industry. Matrix is ​​the official Israeli representative of open source companies Cloudera, Redhat, and RapidMiner. The company also announced that it is helping develop middleware and DevOps projects, as well as platforms for more than 800 customers, including some of the largest organizations in Israel.

As open source code becomes more and more popular around the world, it is ideal for Israel. Israel’s tech scene is built on partnerships, innovation, and independent thinking that are all essential in open source code. The open source code allows developers to test new systems, contribute and cooperate on different projects. This translates into rapid responsiveness, continuous improvement and innovation. Underlying the open source code is a very Israeli working environment in its essence, and it has proven to be effective both online and offline.

Oren Yunger is an investor in GGV Capital, which is based in Silicon Valley. He focuses on enterprise infrastructure, development tools, and cybersecurity and is actively involved with open source code companies Coder, Kong, Streamlit, and HashiCorp. GGV is a global venture capital firm that invests in growth start-up investments in the consumer / new retail, social / internet, business / cloud and smart technology sectors.


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