PayPal has hired Danese Cooper as its first-ever Head of Open Source and said she would contribute “game-changing open source strategies” for the company. PayPal positioned the new role as a positive for developers in its announcement on the corporate blog.
What is open source? Wikipedia explains it in part by stating:
“Generally, open source refers to a computer program in which the source code is available to the general public for use and/or modification from its original design. Open-source code is typically created as a collaborative effort in which programmers improve upon the code and share the changes within the community. Open source sprouted in the technological community as a response to proprietary software owned by corporations.”
In March, PayPal Senior Director of Platform Engineering and Operations Saran Mandair told Forbes PayPal was “committed to collaborating with the open source community to drive further innovation.”
PayPal built its private cloud leveraging OpenStack (an open-source cloud-software initiative), and last fall, PayPal released in open source its “node.js application framework” called kraken, explaining in Thursday’s announcement: “Moving our frontend application framework into the public sphere was a major step for us as a company in not only giving back to the node community through our contribution, but in engaging with the external engineering community in a new way.”
Cooper has an impressive resume, writing on her LinkedIn profile that she’s been involved in developing and evangelizing the Open Source movement and its attached methodologies since 1999. She has worked for many of the largest high-tech corporations throughout her career and has served on the Board of the Open Source Initiative for over a decade.
On LinkedIn she wrote, “I believe that the Open Source Methodology of increased transparency in software development (and possibly also in hardware development) can only have a positive effect on the technology we deliver to customers. The marriage of Open Source to traditional software development has created some interesting hybrid (part Open part Proprietary) models which I believe hold up favorably against entirely traditional methods in both time to market and satisfaction of market demand.”
PayPal said Thursday, “The addition of Danese to our PayPal team strengthens our world-class engineering organization. She will work to help us deploy best-in-class open source technology across our stack and drive contributions back to open source projects to increase our technical impact globally.” You can find its full announcement on the PayPal blog.