Open-Source Software Projects - Typical Common Reasons for Failure

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Failure is often the catalyst for success. You need to make mistakes to truly learn and grow as a tech worker. Sometimes, you don’t need to make the mistakes to learn. Learning from other’s mistakes can be just as informative and productive. Paying attention to what others have done can help you avoid the same kind of failure. Here are a few common mistakes that authors make that lead to the failure of open-source software projects.
 
When you lack interest or patience
You need to be interested in a project if you are going to give it your best. If the author is not interested, the project may be left to the side or careless errors could be made. This could also lead to losing patience with the project. A developer without the affinity to manage their patience will more likely halt the project, and maybe even delete the entire project all together.
 
Lacking resources like time and money
Time is a large investment when it comes to open-source projects. The author not only spends their time but also money as well to create this project. Paying for infrastructure or services or being subject to the opportunity cost of doing this project, the author has to put in a lot of resources to make things work. The most explicit and implicit investment, the higher the risk of the project being abandoned. An author can only afford what they are willing to pay, so this is always a problem for many people.
 
The career path of the author changes
It can be as simple as the author wanting to change things up that leads to the failure of the open-source project. By changing their field, this can jeopardize the life of the project as priorities switch to other things. The success rate depends on your prioritization. Changing a career
may be the best thing for your life, but then you need to re-evaluate the project. Is the project worth it to you to keep your focus during the career shift, or can you afford to leave it by the wayside?
 
Working with a partner to create the open-source project
When there are two or more people working on the same project, a clash can always occur. People have creative differences, and these can lead to inner controversy and turmoil. If you as a team do not manage these differences, it could lead to the destruction of the project. Differences are great and bringing diversity to a project can be a wonderful thing. You can work in tandem together, using your different strengths to cover the other person’s weaknesses. However, you must always be mindful that there is a higher risk of failure when there are more than one person working on the project.
 
The changing of technology
In the day and age of the technology era, things that are cutting edge could be obsolete within a year. An example of this could be when Adobe Flash was overtaken by HTML5. As a project creator, it is up to you to stay up on all the technological changes that would affect your business. Even a minor change could make or break your project, rendering it obsolete.
 
The size of the project
A simple mistake made is taking on too much. The scale of the project may be too much for the author. The project may even start small, and as you get further into the life of it, the scale may become larger and larger. If you are operating as a single developer with no support from others, the risk of the project failing greatly increases. Be mindful of the size of the project and be honest about it. Maybe it is time that you get on the phone and recruit another author to work on the project with you.
 
Open-source software programs require a lot of work. They also require great resources, staying up on new technology, the ability to work as a team, and being honest with yourself. These are some common mistakes made that lead to the failure of open-sourced software programs.
 

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A marketing and technical writer at Essay Roo and UK Writing, Ellie Coverdale loves beach days and walking her dog on the boulevard. She has been included in many large-scale tech research projects, where she has learned a lot of practical knowledge. She loves sharing what she has learned with her reader. Furthermore, she is also a writing teacher at Academized.

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