Building a Culture of Open Source at Intuit

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Intuit believes in open source. From Intuit-led projects like Argo, Karate, and BenTen to our employee contributions to many other projects, to our new opensource.intuit.com site, we’ve never been more committed to the principles and practice of open source. By fostering a culture of contribution and collaboration within our company, we can advance our vision to leverage the power of many for the prosperity of each individual. As the open source community gathers at KubeCon, we’re excited to reflect on the growing role of open source in our business today, and we’re eager to further expand our participation moving forward.

Celebrating open source at Intuit

Open source is a natural fit for Intuit, resonating with our mission to promote prosperity around the world. From a practical perspective, a more open approach also helps us develop better products. Within Intuit, our open platform makes it possible for engineers anywhere in the company to collaborate on new ways to solve problems, and to incorporate our best code into their work. As we deepen our commitment to open source, our engineers are becoming even more open in the way they share, adopt, and use code. Our culture celebrates those with the passion and drive to contribute to open source projects, whether their own or others, as a way to bring new and better digital experiences to life.

We’re always looking for new people to join us on our open source journey. As we see it, for today’s developers, your GitHub repository is your resume. In our recruiting process, we want to see that people have the willingness to contribute code to other people’s projects—not just their own. An aptitude for open source shows a belief in something bigger than yourself, as well as a love of taking on a challenge, writing beautiful code, and advancing the state of software across the industry. That’s the kind of organization Intuit is building today.

Introducing opensource.intuit.com

Because of the business we’re in—personal finance, accounting, and tax software—our applications must be as high-quality as possible, always available, and readily scalable to meet customer demand. Speed matters for Intuit; we want to deliver prosperity as quickly as we can for small businesses and consumers around the world.

The critical infrastructure we’ve developed to meet these requirements now includes open sourced components like the Karate testing framework, the Argo continuous integration tool, and BenTen. Open source projects like these enable developers, ours and others, to go faster and be more productive. At the same time, the open source community allows us to leverage the broad diversity of ideas needed to advance our audacious mission of global prosperity. We can’t do this by ourselves; with open source, an entire world of brilliant minds can come together to help bring great new ideas to reality. We’re also happy to share our development expertise in the areas of strength we’ve developed due to the demands of our business.

To that end, we’re also introducing a new wrapper for our GitHub site. opensource.intuit.com shares and celebrates all the great open source projects Intuit employees have created, including:

  • Argo – Container-native workflows for Kubernetes. While Kubernetes is a great tool for automating, deploying, and managing containerized applications, it would be great to be able to run more than one container at a time. Argo makes that possible by maximizing the efficiency of Kubernetes, allowing people to get things done more quickly. Creators: Ed Lee, Saradhi Sreegiriraju, and Pratik Wadher.
  • BenTen – CUI Chatbot framework with Slack integration for Jira and Jenkins. Service monitoring can be laborious and repetitive work, so Intuit engineers build a bot to take over. Engineers use BenTen to create and track Jira stories, while customer care agents use BenTen to search across databases and get answers fast. Creators: Divakar Ungatla, Raghuram Nidagal, Sharath Shashidhar, Peter Thomas, Balaji Mahadev, and Arun Ragothaman.
  • CardParts – A reactive, card-based UI framework built on UIKit for iOS developers. CardParts eliminates the need for engineers to reinvent the wheel every time they build UI elements by bringing the MVVM (Model-View-ViewModel) design paradigm to life. Teams can effectively and efficiently reuse elements, while designers get a template they know their designs will fit. Creators: Peter Fong, Chase Roossin, Deniz Tumer, and Bharath Urs.
  • Cyphfell – Converts WDIO to Cypress. When our engineers outgrew the WebDriverIO framework for testing automation, they built Cyphell to automatically convert their thousands of WebDriverIO tests to Cypress tests. Next, the team plans to expand its functionality to translate other test frameworks, including Puppeteer and Nightwatch. Creator: Adil Malik.
  • Ignite – Modern markdown documentation generator. Easier documentation encourages engineers to write more of it. Ignite makes documenting open source projects as easy as putting files in a folder, as well as making it simple to theme your app, add plugins, and generate blogs and static websites. Creators: Andrew Lisowski and Adam Dierkens.
  • Karate – Web services testing made simple. Unstable or inconsistent tests can delay the production release of web services. Karate has proven its quality in rapid and widespread adoption, and the open source community continues to make it even better all the time. Creator: Peter Thomas.
  • LocationManager – Easily get a device’s current location on iOS. While Apple’s location services work well when tracking changes in location over time, they’re not as good at providing a single location update. LocationManager provides a block-based asynchronous API to request the current location, either once or continuously, and internally manages multiple simultaneous location and heading requests, greatly simplifying location requests. Creator: Tyler Fox.
  • QuickBooks V3 SDK – Official SDK for QuickBooks (Java, .Net & PHP). Developers use the QuickBooks Online API to build apps for 3 million+ QuickBooks Online customers and publish them to the QuickBooks App Store. Creators: Diana De Rose, Hao Lu, and Nimisha Shrivastava.
  • Tank – Downloadable application to load test websites. With web traffic in the hundreds of thousands hitting our TurboTax Online service every spring, our engineers use Tank to make sure our site can provide the reliability and performance customers depend on. Creator: Denis Angleton.

While we’re proud of our engagement and contributions to the open source community, and excited about the people throughout our organization who’ve been involved, we’re still in the early days of our open source strategy. We look forward to sharing more plans and developments in the days to come.

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