Open source a hit for professionals and hobbyists


The appeal of open source hardware and software will continue to grow among both professional engineers and hobbyists, according to element14.

Element14 surveyed a mix of professional engineers, hobbyists and students. All respondents had purchased one or more dev kits or related products in the year prior to taking the survey.

According to the survey’s findings, 56 percent of professional engineers and 82 percent of hobbyists responding to the survey are more likely to use open source hardware such as Arduino or BeagleBone in 2013.

When asked about their usage of open source software in 2013, 52 percent of professional engineers and 81 percent of hobbyists responded in a positive manner.

54 percent of hobbyists reported using dev kits at least once per quarter for personal projects.

While the survey did not have a fully balanced and controlled sample, the numbers indicate that for engineers and hobbyists who are interested in dev kits, open source is an increasingly attractive proposition.

With a high level of crossover between professionals and hobbyists, this increase in adoption extends to the workplace. An engineer on the job is looking for access to many of the same tools and resources accessible to the hobbyist community.

Where professional engineers and hobbyists differ are the resources which are important to them when choosing dev kits. The latter see reference designs as highly important, whereas hobbyists value the availability of online tutorials, webinars and videos.