The world of open-source software is complex, and Isaac Slutsky from Brooks Kushman, gave us a presentation on the legal issues related to open source software. Slutsky received his B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Michigan, after which he worked as a Software Developer at Compuware for six years. He later received his law degree from Wayne State University. Since graduating law school, Isaac has focused on software patenting and related issues. As an expert in the field, Slutsky shared ways in which open source can be used in business, including how to identify what open source you are using, how to use it correctly, and how to comply with the open source license terms.
Many people don’t realize that there are several different types of open source licenses and if not careful, using the wrong open source code can have serious impacts on your business. "Isaac talked about how certain open source software can put a clients' code base at risk," said Lyle Knopf, COO at Spud Software. "If you have intellectual property included in your source code, this could be potentially damaging to a company if they had to release it as open source."
Josh Koppen, a Developer here at Spud, followed Slutsky’s presentation, with a discussion on Unit Testing. While there are many non-believers in unit testing, Koppen did a great job showing its true benefits, while justifying its existence. He walked through some examples to illustrate tools and techniques, differentiating unit tests from integration tests, and the red-green-refactor loop. Koppen has been programming with Microsoft technologies professionally since 1998, but his love of programming first started when we got his hands on a Commodore 16 in 1984.
During his talk, Koppen also touched on how test-driven development (TDD) can help the development process. By allowing development teams to create real-world test scenarios, they are able to automate testing to ensure that as they are developing new features, business rules continue to perform as expected.
We would like to thank both Slutsky & Koppen for sharing their knowledge with us. Our meetup group gets together about once a month and is designed to help grow the collective knowledge of professionals around new programming and IT techniques. We encourage you to learn more about our group here.