When you hire a developer today, the bigger they are, the more resourceful they are, the likelier they don’t write code from scratch. They know where to find code, massage it, and adapt for what they want it to do.
It’s like expecting a lawyer to write you an NDA from scratch. She won’t. She’ll use existing clauses and documents, known as boilerplate
. There’s so much code available in the public domain, and it’s so easy to find with a software search, that you don’t need to write anything from scratch. Existing code can reduce your development time, your costs, and time to market. It’s great if it’s done properly and managed.
“As more third party content gets into projects, the picture of what’s in a project becomes foggier and foggier, because nobody keeps track of records,” said Mahshad Koohgoli, CEO of Protecode
. “That’s understandable, because few developers are interested in licensing. They want to create.”
When the folks at Protecode studied a group of primarily Canadian companies, they found...
· 60% didn’t believe they used third party code
· 25% acknowledged they had third party content in their code, and wanted to find more about its implications
· 10% of those companies said they wanted to do something about the third party code in their products
· 5% had a problem with questions about IP ownership, as they were about to deliver and their clients required indemnity