Open Source at Softwire

24 September 2014, by

At Softwire we use a huge range of tools and frameworks, a large number of which are open-source. As software developers, it’s great to be able to give back to the community that’s worked to build that, and helped create the wide variety of technological solutions that we all take advantage of in modern Software development.

This is both nice to do from a charitable perspective, but also just outright useful; it helps us improve our knowledge of the finer details of the tools we’re using, fixes bugs and adds improvements that are relevant to us (and therefore probably to all sorts of other people) and keeps us close to the cutting edge of the industry.

We’ve been driving to improve on and increase our depth of contribution back to open-source recently and I’d like to take a moment to highlight some of the great work Softwire people have been doing in the wider development community, both in their spare time (we’re a keen bunch) and as part of their day-to-day work, over the last 9 months or so. For more, take a flick through our github pages at

  • Rowan, Tim P, Chris A, Pete H, Iain, Ed W and Ying pulled off a fantastic showing for our attempt at 24 pull requests – fixing the development community’s tools, doing lots of great personal development, and making us look good all at the same time.
  • Suzanne has been fixing documentation in SBT, the Scala Build Tool.
  • Ollie sent in a fix to to update their Selenium dependencies
  • Simon F released his open-source charity auction app on Github
  • Rich B fixed windows support in the SBT + Scalac SCoverage plugins, contributed various fixes to Spray, fought a long battle to fix race conditions in the Scalac SCoverage plugin and fixed the documentation for the SBT JUnit XML test output library
  • Ciprian upgraded various dependencies in jquery-fileupload-rails
  • Rowan fixed various typos in json5, added support for PATCH and made correct API usage statically checkable in Wiremock, and improved how JUnit handles static rules and classrules.
  • Jenny M got libreoffice to add a mechanism to file feature requests against the project
  • Jamie put in a whole bunch of pull requests to make sure that NPM/Bower NuGet packages worked properly with NCrunch, and released a NuGet package to automatically create your ELMAH DB via EF migrations (so awesomely that strangers have even joined in to help out)
  • Chris A looked into AssertJ when I mentioned it ‘to try it out’: forking it, digging into the internals, adding some extra matchers he thought might be useful, and contributing them back
  • Joe LM fixed a bug in the TypeSafe project activator to make it work in Window’s Git Bash
  • Dan C open-sourced Archiverify – a Java app to synchronize and verify the contents of file archives
  • Mike M open-sourced a .NET library to let you associate arbitrary strings with enums in C#
  • Tim P fixed how bundled its extensions and released it to NuGet, built a hipchat reminder service and Jenkins pipeline service, released a build task for Grunt, and contributed various fixes to Sinon.js, python-simple-hipchat, Moq, generator-bespoke and friends.

Upcoming Opportunities for Awesome Things

We’ve also been looking for potential opportunities to do more of this in the near future. Our current best plans are:

The Softwire Open-Source Trello Board

As of very recently, we now have an open-source Trello board at, public to all, so you can see what open-source work we’re looking at doing.

Open Source   Trello

Pizza & Programming

Every fortnight Softwire host an internal ‘pizza & programming’ evening, bustling with programming activity, open-source and otherwise.

BattleHack London

Create apps to solve local problems. This is hackathon on a big scale, being run by PayPal, but still aiming for charitable good things! Lovely. It’s going on in 14 different cities around the world, each with prizes including tablets, programmable robot balls and actual axes, with the winning team from each national hack getting flights and a hotel in Silicon Valley for the final, which comes with a $100,000 grand prize. Not bad for a weekend spent building things to save the world.

Previous include Randonate (sign up and donate automatically and randomly to charities), Petitionly (easy signature collection for petitions, without clipboards) and (tracking and gamifying volunteering).

Batches of tickets are appearing intermittently, and you can sign up for notifications in the meantime; get on it if so, as this is pretty popular and they’ll probably go quite quickly!


Categories: Softwire, Technical


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