Bloomberg and Open Source: Collaborating on Better Developer Tools

Bloomberg has been fostering open solutions for the financial industry for quite some time, so it should come as no surprise that we also have been actively engaged in the open source community, with an eye toward promoting more rapid innovation across all aspects of our organization worldwide.

Bloomberg has a unique technology infrastructure and a talented group of over 3,000 technologists. Like all global enterprises, Bloomberg technologists apply open source tools to many of the problems we solve for our customers when they fit our development model. Increasingly, these technologists are also volunteering their coding and engineering skills to improve projects run by leading non-for-profit open source communities.

The work we are doing with two such community organisations, the Software Freedom Conservancy and The Eclipse Foundation, (hosts of the Git project and the Eclipse project, respectively) are great examples.

Git is a free and open source program, originally designed by Linux founder Linus Torvalds, to help developers more accurately and rapidly track and manage software code revisions.

On February 7, Bloomberg hosted its first-ever Open Source Day at its American headquarters. More than 30 members of Bloomberg’s R&D team spent the day improving the Git tool set, including new features, documentation enhancements, tests, and other changes.

Says Shawn Edwards, CTO: “At Bloomberg, historically our development teams have used every major source code control system – both open source and proprietary – but today we are migrating rapidly to Git so we can continue to benefit from the workflow improvements we are experiencing. This allows us to give our developers the tools they need to create optimum solutions for our customers.”

“We were thrilled to participate in Bloomberg’s first Open Source Day,” said Karen Sandler, Executive Director of the Software Freedom Conservancy. “Bloomberg’s commitment to the free software it uses is evident from the excellent organization of the event. It was great to see such enthusiastic participation by so many Bloomberg employees and we look forward to seeing the benefits that this commitment to collaboration yields.”

As part of a growing relationship with the Software Freedom Conservancy, Bloomberg will expand its philanthropic engagement with the community by partnering with some of the organization’s other projects during future volunteer events.

Bloomberg’s philanthropic engagement with the open source community is a global commitment and also extends to Eclipse – a community for individuals and organizations who wish to collaborate on commercially-friendly open source software.

On Saturday May 31, Bloomberg hosted its first London-based Open Source Day at its European headquarters. Bloomberg technologists joined forces with volunteers from the Eclipse community to apply their coding skills to an Eclipse improvement project. Over the course of the day, volunteers collaborated to develop fixes for a complex software bugs in Eclipse, one of the world’s most powerful and sophistocated integrated development environments (IDE).

“Congratulations to Bloomberg for hosting its first two open source days,” said Mike Milinkovich, executive director of the Eclipse Foundation. “Bloomberg is a leading example of how the financial industry can support and contribute to open source communities that are important for their business. It is this type of collaboration and support that is essential to the ongoing health of any open source community. Well done, Bloomberg!”

Eclipse software is used to develop applications by more than 6 million users, ranging from not-for-profits and small businesses to major companies. It is also used extensively as a training and development tool for Computer Science undergraduates at leading universities and educational institutions across the globe.

Bloomberg plans to continue collaborating with the global open source community by regularly hosting Open Source Day events, sponsoring open source projects, and providing access to the knowledge and experience of its team members who solve complex problems every day for Bloomberg customers.