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Jitendra Choudhary
Jitendra Choudhary

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Explaining Open Source to My Doctor

Open Source

You might be wondering why I'm explaining open source to a doctor. While I was in the hospital for a year, I spent a lot of time reflecting on the potential of technology to make a positive impact. I started wondering how I could explain these concepts to a beginner. I used to imagine conversation with the people around me. This blog post is a result of that curiosity.

What is Open Source?

Me - Imagine You are a owner at a beach. You have got a lot of tasks to do. You have to keep the beach and the ocean clean, make sure visitors are safe, look after the smooth functioning of the staff team and the main thing the beach should serve what it is meant for? i.e visitors can hang around. Interestingly, open-source projects share many similarities with your beach!"

Doctor - What?

Me - Yep!!

Open Source Beach Analogy

So Open Source Projects are basically software that everyone can use, recreate,and modify them freely for fair use. There source code is exposed to public. In the above context the beach is also available for everyone to use.

Before diving into the ocean lets get familiar with some roles in open-source. Just like the beach has various roles and team to maintain the beach. Our open-source also has many different roles.


The beach has a body that governs its everyday functioning. This team is responsible for all the things happens on the beach, whether it is to allow certain rules or ban others . This people often drives the future of the beach. 5Same as the beach the Open Source Projects has Maintainers to organize the projects vision, goal, and functioning. Maintainers on the day to day basis assigns issue, review code, and consider a new features.


As every beach the cleanliness, and avoid illegal trafficking are the some of the many issues the team has to work on. It can be tedious task for the small team. Sometimes we witness campaign for cleaning beach where other than beach maintainers help maintain the beach.This people are known as 'Contributors'. Most of the contributors are the regulars at the beach.

Into the same context, Open-source has contributors who helps maintainers by solving bugs into the code base, suggesting new features, and more.

Community Members

The visitors at the beach are simply the Community Members, who loves using the beach. So, In our open the community members uses the product, provides feedback, and more.


The team manager who has control over all the operations happening on the beach. In our project, Author is the creator of the project and has power to recruit maintainers, assign new roles, and is the main authority.


Do you remember you are the owner of the beach? In our project, Owner has administrative ownership over the project. In some projects the author and the owner can be different.

What are Good Contributions ?

Me - Now that you have basic understanding of Open-source, let's step directly into the ocean.

Doctor - nods head

Me - On the beach, visitors can pick a single can or even save a kid from drowning. Every small or big help is welcomed and appreciated.

Good Contributions

In the above scenario, Lena is a social media influencer who loves environment (from the bio) and is on the beach for first time. On the other hand we have Mike The Tyson who is fully jacked athlete and workouts daily onto the beach.

Mike is counting 71, ..72, ..73 (while doing handstand pushup). Suddenly he noticed a kid shouting for help as he was drowning into the ocean. Immediately stepped onto the land and rushed towards the water for seeking to help. Mike with his super athletic body jumped into the water, swimming like a dolphin escorted the kid out from the water. This mighty activity of mike saved the life and also helped maintainers ease their work.

Similarly, Developers using the product can contribute to the project if they possess the relevant skills and are willing to participate. This type of contributions are beneficial for both parties.

Doctor - This makes sense. What can be a bad contribution?

Me - Contributing for the sake.

What are Bad Contributions ?

Bad Contribution

Lena is onto the beach to film a video showcasing her cleaning the beach which can bag million views. This activity might have been beneficial for lena, but from the beach maintainers pov this is less favorable contribution.

It's important to maintain a safe and respectful environment for all participants. Let's avoid trolling or putting anyone in trouble, and instead focus on good learning par.

Doctor - Got it! What are some good Open Source Projects?

Me - Well it depends... The Projects which you use everyday are the best fit. If you want to make the project even better.

Doctor - Can I contribute?

Me - Absolutely No.


So, that's my attempt at explaining open source through the lens of a beach! While it might not win any literary awards, hopefully it gave you a new perspective on how open source works and the different roles involved.

I was thinking to write blog posts using this mode of storytelling, however when I read some blog I decided to go with the convention mode and not use storytelling. Now after long hesitation the writing is here.

Let me know into the comments what do you think about this mode of writing blogs. If you have any feedback good or wild, any suggestions about what went right? or wrong? just drop them into the comments I would love to know. And be sure to follow me for more tech learning, told in both conventional and unconventional ways.

I've used Figma and my brain for the drawings used into the blog post.

If you have read this far and found the article helpful, please feel free to share them on X by mentioning JitendraC.

Top comments (2)

anmolbaranwal profile image
Anmol Baranwal

I hate when you didn't allow the doctor to contribute 🤣

Loved your writing, it will eventually get better. The visuals were clean and with a clear context. Overall, very good way to explain open source to anyone :D

jitendrachoudhary profile image
Jitendra Choudhary

Yeah ! I need to work on my writing skills.

Thank you