Today, I am excited to unveil a significant development in Modus Create’s commitment to open source — we have established Tweag as our open source program office (OSPO). Tweag is a cross-functional group to research and develop open source ideas, which ultimately inform and improve the engineering platform we offer our clients as we help them improve the developer experience.
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Why we established an open source program office
Open source program offices are more commonly seen from large product companies. Yet, despite being a digital consulting organization, Modus Create has always maintained an outsized commitment to open source projects, including a long history of publishing open source community contributions. In 2022, Modus acquired software engineering company Tweag (which I founded in 2014) and further enhanced its open source footprint. Tweag employees have been regular contributors to Nix, Haskell, and Bazel, as well as industry thought leaders in open source.
Now with a combined company of immense open source knowledge and world-class engineers, we decided to follow other models and break out an OSPO devoted to furthering open source. Under the Tweag brand, our OSPO allows engineers and researchers to come together to apply new ideas. Not only is this important to help our clients deploy the best technology; it’s important to retain our engineering team through stimulating projects that affect the industry as a whole.
Tweag — Modus Create’s open source program office (OSPO)
I founded Tweag to improve the experience of developers and data scientists throughout the software development lifecycle. We carved out a collaborative space for engineers and academics to join forces and leverage well-understood research ideas to achieve the following goals:
- Make code easier to maintain and refactor
- Make data and insights easier to reproduce
- Weed out bugs automatically
- Tame the complexity of software
- Make software run faster in our new massively parallel and distributed reality
In the process, we developed new frameworks, programming languages, and tools in the open and contributed toward democratizing state-of-the-art technologies.
Since joining Modus, Tweag has become the nucleus of its open source strategy. Today as the OSPO of Modus, our researchers provide oversight and support for all our open source initiatives.
Note that Tweag is not an ancillary research lab. We’re embedded in all of Modus Create’s services, helping clients across every major industry. Our work finds its way into real-world solutions for some of the world’s largest enterprises, including Marriott, Amgen, and Volkswagen.
In this post, I’ll give you a glimpse of Tweag’s existing projects, plans for the future, and relationships with our partners.
Areas of open source research
Tweag’s efforts cover the entire software development lifecycle (SDLC), from design to deployment, including development, testing, and code review. Our goal is not to have answers to all problems in all phases of the SDLC for every industry but to gain recognition as leaders in key open source communities that matter to our clients. We structure our work internally through working groups, which collectively span all software development stages.
Examples of working groups include:
- Scalable Builds Group — We focus on making it fast and reliable to build, test, and apply changes to code in a continuous integration setup, from small projects to massive monorepos. This group brings together well-recognized thought leaders contributing to Bazel, Buck, Pants, Nix, and other communities.
- Nix Group — Nix is a build system, a configuration management system, and a mechanism for deploying software that focuses on scale reliability. We are actively involved in developing all major aspects of the Nix ecosystem and are also engaged in community teams and the NixOS Foundation board.
- Programming Languages and Compilers Group — The PLC Group aims to foster our programming languages design and implementation expertise encompassing multiple disciplines (mathematics, computer science, software engineering, UX design, etc.) to support clients who need to engage with any programming language-related tasks.
- Data Engineering Group — We combine aspects of software engineering, data science, and machine learning to develop exceptional and reliable data processing and storage solutions.
New groups arise frequently as we identify hot new technologies or design principles. Examples include Micro Frontends and Generative AI. These are exciting areas we are actively exploring to see how we can apply them to current problems and contribute to the industry conversation overall.
Teaming up with the best
Our researchers enjoy an unparalleled advantage: direct access to Modus Create’s remarkable partner ecosystem. We have the privilege of being recognized as official top-tier partners of GitHub, Atlassian, and AWS. Few organizations have the recognition of all three industry leaders, and fewer still have the distinction of consecutive wins as an Atlassian Partner of the Year.
Explore Tweag’s projects
Here is a glimpse of some of our top open source projects from recent years:
- Nickel — Modern configurations are complex and require dealing with new tools. That’s why we recently launched Nickel — a lightweight and generic configuration language. Unlike YAML, Nickel scales to large configurations by being programmable and modular. To minimize the risk of misconfigurations, Nickel features (opt-in) static typing and contracts, a powerful and extensible data validation framework.
- GHC — We are among the top contributors to GHC, a mature, state-of-the-art compiler for Haskell. It provides a cross-platform software environment for writing and testing Haskell code and supports several extensions.
- Bazel — As recognized community experts, we have contributed key features and new programming language support to Bazel, a free and open-source tool used for the automation of building and testing software.
- Ionic-Vue — Our engineers are active contributors to the Ionic framework and the brains behind the Ionic-Vue integration.
What are we working on next? As you can see, our team is always looking for new challenges to solve and capabilities to create. To delve deeper into our open source initiatives, learn something new from our engineering blog, and stay updated on our ongoing research, visit tweag.io.
If you share our passion for open source and are ready to make a difference in the art of software development, we’re eager to hear from you. Discover opportunities to join our team of exceptional engineers and researchers at moduscreate.com/careers.
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