Written by on 3 February 2016

Supporting the open-source community

The seventh edition of PHPBenelux took place in Antwerp last weekend. One of the best PHP conferences currently in Europe brought around 550 developers together to gain knowledge and, more importantly, have fun and network with other developers.

As Coolblue we are very proud to support such an event by being a sponsor and facilitate the conference. It was a joy to be present at the conference and to talk with attendees about the things they work on and are active within the community. During the event I often received the question why Coolblue was a sponsor of the conference and what our reason was to be present. Well, let me answer that in this blog post.

At Coolblue we make use of several open source technologies. For example, almost all our web applications are written in either PHP or Node.js. Often do the applications that we develop make use of several open source components which we use as a building block.

It is amazing to see that the availability of open source software and supporting community allows us to build software quickly. We are able to rapidly focus on the core problem that we want we to solve instead of building our own libraries to do arbitrary things. The active community helps us to build awesome software and provide an environment for our developers to gain knowledge and improve their craftsmanship.

One might say that we have a lot to owe to the open source community and that is certainly true. That is why we are eager to support the open source community in a way that we are able to do so. For us that means we follow through on several activities.

One of our company values is ‘open’ and as a software development department we strive to be as open as we can. We share our war stories on this development blog. We organize our own behind-the-scenes events where we tell our day-to-day adventures. We even talk about our failures so other people can have the possibility to learn from it. Some of our developers are supporting CodeUur, (Dutch Hour of Code project) by going to schools and run the program to actively introduce children to software development.

Another way we contribute to the community is by sponsoring conferences and meetups. PHPBenelux, Dutch PHP Conference, CSS Day, Fronteers are some of the conferences that we sponsor. For several meetup groups we were the host of a meetup event. Part of this supporting effort is to get us known as a software development organization and a fun place to work for. But, more importantly, we see this as a great way to help enabling the community. Facilitating events where developers can meet other developers and gain knowledge in their area of expertise is an satisfying activity. We learn massively from our interaction with attendees and return fully energized and inspired from events that we host or sponsor.

We benefit a lot from the community and we do our best to do something in return. We hope our efforts are valued and that we inspire other companies to start giving back to it as well.

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