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As a workplace we are bold in many ways, and one of them is to get involved and support causes we believe in. This winter, our QA team had the idea to contribute to the Free Software Foundation, a non-profit organization that promotes the development and use of free (as in freedom) software and technology that we use in our homes, schools and businesses. Todor Vlaev, R&D manager in our quality team, explains the rationale behind the decision of sponsoring the Free Software Foundation in this blog post in form of an interview:

Q: Why did you choose open-source as a theme for your sponsorship?

Todor: Because we use a lot of open-source tools in our daily work. For example build and compiler tools. Similar commercial products would cost thousands of euros for licensing. And because our engineering team is full of open-source enthusiasts :), and basically because we think it’s only fair to pay for these tools that power our commercial business.

Q: Why the Free Software Foundation? Aren’t there many other communities supporting free and open-source software?

Todor: The Free Software Foundation is behind the GNU project. The GNU is a collection of many programs: applications, developer tools, libraries… the open-source tools that we use are part of that, they enable us to do our work, and it is fair to give back to the community as much as possible.

Q: How do you feel about using these types of tools at work?

Todor: They really are quality tools. They are not buggy it that’s what you mean –and if we find something off or wrong with a tool, or ways to improve it, we make a contribution to the code. Additionally, there is a huge community of developers and driven contributors behind. If there are issues, somebody will find a solution, but overall, the quality is excellent.

Q: Why do you think it is important to support these communities?

Todor: Because of the fact that it’s open and not controlled or driven by any company’s interest and the fact that the FSF contributes to the society. Most software engineers I know believe open-source is the right way to do things. Several of them come from research backgrounds and for them open-source is a way of releasing knowledge to the world.

Q: Do you plan to continue your support in the future?

Todor: Certainly! We look forward to it and also to increase our collaboration with other open-source software projects.

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Eva Rio
Eva Rio is a service designer and marketing manager at Tuxera Inc. Eva is also one of the lead organizers of the Finnish Android Association (now Google Developers Group Helsinki), the largest community of mobile developers in the Nordic countries. At Tuxera she works closely with developer communities to strengthen the software ecosystem in Helsinki region and drives design thinking initiatives to improve customer experience. Eva holds a M.Sc in Service Design and Engineering from Aalto University.