When Keith Curtis dropped out of the University of Michigan at age 20 to work full-time as a programmer at Microsoft, he never imagined that he would one day leave the nest and become a voice of the growing-like-wildfire free software movement.
His experiences at Microsoft allowed him to see first-hand the flaw in the proprietary software development model. Teams of programmers were assigned to work on projects with only each other to look to when solving problems or dreaming up new features.
Microsoft’s critical source code is proprietary and, obviously, closely guarded. This means less idea sharing and hindered progress—a way of doing things contrary to the spirit that other types of scientists have historically practiced.
Keith argues that the rate of acceleration of key technologies has been so slow that we are actually living in the technological dark ages compared to what we will accomplish when the scientists that make the machines around us smarter are openly working together.
“We need to pool our collective intelligence and get to work on fixing our most serious threats—and in today’s society that begins with having great software. Wikipedia has flaws, especially regarding the current political topics, but it is a example of our ability to exponentially work together.”
There are numerous implications — like the very real ability to develop healthcare technologies faster.
“We should have been working together all along, but it is absolutely necessary now for the big challenges that remain. Not all software should be free, but it is necessary that we come together on the hardest challenges.” Keith resides in Detroit Michigan, communicating his sometimes controversial but important message by writing and consulting.
After The Software Wars has over 100,000 downloads and he has written articles for or been featured in publications including the New York Times, PC World, Linux Magazine, American Thinker, and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
Today, he helps small companies solve their technological problems. Here are a few recent Detroit-based sites he’s helped setup or redo:
If you want to create or improve your website, grow your business through the use of free software like Linux and Python, or have technical or strategic questions about the maze of technology, send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keep up-to-date with developments on Twitter.
New York Times
Discussion with Ray Kurzweil
Paul Thurrott’s Winsupersite (Part 2, Part 3)