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Open source evolution

Looking far enough, you can glimpse back in time, to the shaping of the universe we live in, expelling matter and energy that will have formed the orbs and stars and planets to be. But looking beyond the multitude of forms and presences you can find the tiniest of elements, the primary components for all that surrounds us, from the quarks to the hydrogen atoms or the genetic code genes.

Somewhere, there was always, a simple beginning. Just like placing the first dot. For us, this new beginning was embracing open source. I will therefore try to relate what has happened since we first got the idea, how has the surrounding environment changed and how we see the world evolving in the future ahead of us.

In January 2014 we started publishing the FinTP application’s code in open source. Of course there was a risk, but it has been weighted, measured and accepted. We created projects and we hosted them on GitHub, with various levels of complexity, organized by skills. For most of them, there was an enthusiastic start: we uploaded large chunks of code and just asked people to write more code. It was like the emperor’s new clothes for each contributor. Practically, your every thought was out there, waiting to be dissected, turned upside-down, weighted, measured and accepted?! And it waited, and waited, with no clear effects. “No news, good news” sounded perfectly at the moment, so we pushed more code. The projects started being viewed, the number of contributors grew and so did the number of projects, reaching 14. But still, that critic moment when things really get to happen was not there yet. And this is where we are now! What do we want? So many things. It is better to always wish for more, even if only for getting that energy boost to help you past each moment’s inertia. And among those things, we really want to reach that gross of contributors who can start a lively, self-aware and self-sustained community. We are preparing and getting prepared for that moment.

We are looking for the best code auditing mechanisms solution, from both intellectual property (IP) rights and security point of view. Being an OS product, FinTP is open to all contributions, but each and every one of them has to be legally validated. Security is also of great importance as FinTP is addressing a very sensitive area, the banking and finance sector; and we too have bank accounts. Especially if we are to acknowledge that not even the open source space, par excellence a model for collaboration and transparency, is infallible to security breaches, like in the case of Heartbleed or Shellshock.

Another of our priorities is making available an automatic testing application that will allow a more comfortable accommodation and increase trust in the application.

With our internal processes and procedures that guide our software development activities at hand, we tried to adapt them to the open source principles. During our last hackathon in 2013, we have presented these new ideas regarding working within the community. They were well received, with positive feedback. Closely following FinTP’s life cycle, Allevo will identify, define and allocate resources for the roles associated with the community and the product it creates, whether it is identifying optimum business features or managing releases.

For 2015, we are planning to organize a series of hackathons meant to create awareness on both the community and the code it develops, so that FINkers United can grow larger and larger.

FINkers United

From the start, Allevo has been investing human, infrastructure and financial resources to support the community activities. To be able to sustain this effort, including the financing for porting all application features to open source, this year we will try to attract specific European funds.

Stay tuned to find out how the FinTP project, the FINkers United community and the world around them are evolving.

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