How I went from architecture to free/libre software

When I tell people that I studied as an architect I always get a question: how did you end up in technology and why do you advocate Free Software/Open Source if you studied brick-and-mortar? The answer I usually give is summarized in the incipit of the book The Architecture of Open Source Applications

Architects look at thousands of buildings during their training, and study critiques of those buildings written by masters. In contrast, most software developers only ever get to know a handful of large programs well—usually programs they wrote themselves—and never study the great programs of history. As a result, they repeat one another’s mistakes rather than building on one another’s successes.

Free Software with its freedom 1, the freedom to study the code and adapt it to your needs, is the only way software architectures can evolve. It took hundreds of years to go from building the pyramids to the skyscrapers and all thanks to the freedom to study how things are made. I believe that if we keep the same freedom we have in the world of atoms we’ll be able to continue building a better cyberspace.