ACS sees open source as a way to boost jobs

The Australian Computer Society has emphatically come out in support of open source software, claiming Australia should embrace it on the grounds it fosters innovation and can boost ICT employment.

ACS NSW chairman Anthony Wong said yesterday that open source software encourages and helps stimulate innovation within Australia's software development industry.

He made reference to the fact that with Australia reliant on so much ready-built (proprietary) software from abroad, many ICT workers had limited opportunity to work in the development of such applications, instead being called upon mainly for support.

"We have become a support and services culture as most innovation is done elsewhere. Our programmers want interesting jobs. They don't want to do just support."

Wong believes open source allows new software initiatives to get under way. Once the ball gets rolling, people then start to invest and in the process need to hire people to continue developing a project. It is this hiring of people that piques the ACS interest, he said.

Wong, who was present at the LinuxWorld expo in Sydney, also spoke in favour of open standards.

"The ACS believes that creating open standards is essential for the success of open source software and these are being advocated widely by supporters of open source," he said.

"In short, implementation of open technical standards decreases risk for organizations - a key requirement for consideration by procurement officers in both the private and public sectors. Decreasing risk increases the likelihood of uptake."

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