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January 20th, 2017

Walmart’s Contributions to Open Source

You might first think about open source in the context of outstanding tools for lean startup companies, but open source also finds a welcome home in behemoth, established companies, such as Walmart. In this O’Reilly OSCON video interview with Walmart Lab’s Alex Grigoryan, learn how Walmart both benefits from and contributes back to open source. The key takeaway? Open source allows you to reuse software components in labor saving ways.

My curiosity got the best of me and I went looking for other Walmart employees contributing to open source. It didn’t take long to find Dave Cadwallader and the TestArmada open source tools he helped develop. Let’s hope other companies, small and large, find the wisdom to embrace open source methods and values. It’s a sure-fire way of expanding the shared pie. It all starts with conversations. Do your part. Start a conversation someplace.

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Phil Shapiro

For the past 10 years, Phil has been working at a public library in the Washington D.C.-area, helping youth and adults use the 28 public Linux stations the library offers seven days a week. He also writes for MAKE magazine, Opensource.com and TechSoup Libraries. Suggest videos by contacting Phil on Twitter or at [email protected]

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2 comments to Walmart’s Contributions to Open Source

  • Randal

    I remember when Walmart sold a Linux computer with a distro called gOS. Unfortunately, the gPC sold out quickly and was gone by the time I could order one, and gOS seemed to disappear almost as quickly, so no more sold via Walmart. The thing I was hoping was they would end up choosing either an AMD or Intel processor, rather then the Via that they used at the time.
    Similar I guess to how a sponser? of this site, sold “recycled” pc’s with Linux (a good idea/Symplepc), but either ran out of money, or customers or ran into other restrictions. (always thought some poorer school, could use some as a LTSP project)
    Wish it would be in the stores, as well as in use in the back.

  • @Randal This is just conjecture on my part, but it appears that the SymplePC was killed either by quality control issues or a lack of interest by SMBs, which were its target market.