Open source software developer SilverStripe, which was founded by three Wellington College and Scots College graduates straight out of high school in 2000, is bending the ear of Google employees in the US, hoping to promote New Zealand's image as a hub for software development.
This year the company became the first New Zealand firm to be chosen by Google to take part in its US$4 million (NZ$4.97 million) "summer of code" programme, under which 800 university students from around the world are paid about US$4500 to spend their summer holiday working from home on open source projects.
SilverStripe picked students from the US, Sri Lanka, Poland, Austria, Italy and Mexico.
Co-founder Sigurd Magnusson says that six weeks into what has been a "wet winter of code", the students have doubled the features of SilverStripe's content management system, designed to help organisations put together and maintain websites. Among the bells and whistles that have been added are multilingual support, integration with photo site Flickr and support for the Safari open source web browser.
Mr Magnusson and co-founder Sam Minnee will talk to staff at Google's campus about their experiences with the summer of code, after last week addressing the Oscon open source conference in Portland on the hidden strengths of programming language PHP5.
Mr Magnusson hopes SilverStripe will help pave the way for other New Zealand open source software firms to take part in Google's summer of code.
SilverStripe's content management system is designed to fill a gap between "cumbersome" content management tools and lighter tools such as WordPress. Mr Magnusson says it makes it easy to set up websites with different templates without the involvement of a graphic designer.
It is available for free download. SilverStripe makes money through support and by developing websites for clients using the application.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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