OpenSource For You

In­dian e-com­merce startup Fynd con­trib­utes back to the open source com­mu­nity

Mum­bai-based on­line fash­ion store, Fynd, has launched as a ded­i­cated plat­form to sup­port the open source com­mu­nity. The plat­form in­cludes so­lu­tions such as Fynd API, Fyx and Met­ricbeat, which were orig­i­nally de­signed for in­ter­nal op­er­a­tions.

- Harsh Shah, co-founder, Programming Languages · Tech · Software · Technology Industry · Programming · Industries · Open Source Software · Hackathons · Software Development · AngularJS · Ansible · Apache Kafka · ReactJS

De­ploy­ing open source is rel­a­tively eas­ier for a com­pany than con­tribut­ing back to the com­mu­nity by re­leas­ing the source code for so­lu­tions de­vel­oped to ad­dress spe­cific in­ter­nal re­quire­ments. But Fynd has found a way to sup­port the growth of open source by launch­ing The on­line store, which tar­gets the youth with branded prod­ucts across cat­e­gories such as cloth­ing, footwear, jew­ellery and ac­ces­sories, has been pri­mar­ily built us­ing de­vel­oper-friendly tech­nolo­gies, in­clud­ing An­gu­lar, An­si­ble, Apache Kafka and Re­act. These tech­nolo­gies work with na­tive tools and data stream op­tions such as the Fynd Open API, Witi, Fyx, An­si­ble Met­ricbeat and Grav­ity, which are avail­able through the plat­form.

“In­dian star­tups are of­ten a step be­hind when it comes to open source pol­icy. We wanted to break this pat­tern and do our bit by openly shar­ing our own in­ter­nal devel­op­ments,” says Fynd co-founder Harsh Shah.

There are a to­tal of 30 devel­op­ers at Fynd, with 20 work­ing pri­mar­ily on These devel­op­ers are also mak­ing things eas­ier for early adopters by post­ing new blog posts on a reg­u­lar ba­sis.

Pro­mo­tion of in-house devel­op­ments

Fynd is us­ing on­line fo­rums to make peo­ple aware of its open source work. Ad­di­tion­ally, the com­pany has in­vited the de­vel­oper com­mu­nity to not only use its re­sources, but also give its feed­back and fur­ther build on the ex­ist­ing projects.

“By open sourc­ing, Fynd aims to make its en­gi­neer­ing tools and data streams vis­i­ble to the whole world, in­clud­ing com­pa­nies opt­ing for open source so­lu­tions as well as

devel­op­ers build­ing new projects us­ing ex­ist­ing code,” says Shah. The co-founder has de­vel­oped a con­crete plan to re­lease one new open source project and im­prove one ex­ist­ing project ev­ery month, in or­der to ac­tively re­ceive con­tri­bu­tions from devel­op­ers.

Scal­able op­tions

Just like any other open source-fo­cused en­ter­prise, Fynd doesn’t rely much on pro­pri­etary so­lu­tions. In­stead, the com­pany is plan­ning to scale up us­ing open source devel­op­ments. “By us­ing tech­niques that are al­ready avail­able, we sig­nif­i­cantly re­duce the time taken to de­ploy, go live and scale,” says Shah.

Apart from util­is­ing the pub­licly de­vel­oped so­lu­tions to build the on­line mar­ket­place, Fynd has adapted open source to power its mo­bile apps as well as its ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence (AI) driven fash­ion-dis­cov­ery and trans­ac­tion bot. “We have used a lot of open source tech­nolo­gies in al­most ev­ery as­pect of our prod­ucts,” Shah, 28, tells Open Source For You. There are li­braries, mod­els, and al­go­rithms writ­ten by devel­op­ers across the world that help Fynd build a great on­line shop­ping ex­pe­ri­ence.

The chal­lenges in adopt­ing ready-made so­lu­tions

One of the ma­jor chal­lenges that

Fynd has faced while opt­ing for open source is to con­tex­tu­ally match the code with the use case. “Some­times, adapt­ing the avail­able tech­nique to fit our par­tic­u­lar prob­lem or use case can be tricky. You can’t al­ways use the same code, al­go­rithm or the li­brary as it is,” ex­plains Shah.

Fynd tries to re­solve this chal­lenge by un­der­stand­ing the con­text in which the code was ini­tially writ­ten. The com­pany also reaches out di­rectly to the con­trib­u­tor to bet­ter un­der­stand the use case. This helps to re­duce costs and the time spent in build­ing and re­fin­ing the fi­nal prod­uct.

Ad­vice to other star­tups

Shah be­lieves that open source has al­ways been a key way of de­vel­op­ment for all star­tups. “With so much knowl­edge be­ing open sourced, it is only go­ing to fuel the use of such tech­nolo­gies. Ev­ery­one can’t build ev­ery­thing from scratch. There­fore, knowl­edge gained and shared by some­one can be a good foun­da­tion, a ‘leap-frog’ point, with­out hav­ing to rein­vent the wheel,” he con­cludes.

 ??  ?? Harsh Shah, co-founder,
Harsh Shah, co-founder,
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 ??  ?? The team at work in the com­pany’s Mum­bai of­fice
The team at work in the com­pany’s Mum­bai of­fice
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