Outsourcing software development, yet avoid source code theft

A web based IDE such as Hyper IDE, changes every single parameter when it comes to software development. One of the things that just struck me, as I was laying in my tub today, thinking about my toes – Is that it actually makes it possible to outsource software development, yet to some extend avoid having the developers gaining access to the source code. Sounds too amazing to be true? Well, believe me, read on and I’ll prove it.

15 years ago, some partner working with Microsoft, leaked the code for Windows NT on the internet. I remember the incident clearly, since it was beaten to death by mainstream IT news around the world. My guess is that the guy who leaked the code, was given access to the code, such that he could work from home, on his own personal laptop. He probably simply zipped a folder containing the code, and uploaded the code to some torrent site.

As I was laying in my tub, counting my toes, I realised that this would be impossible with Hyper IDE, or any other web based development environment for that matter – Simply since you don’t have access to the code in the same way. If you wanted to, you could disallow access to the code in general to your developers, and in fact only allow them access to whatever parts of the code they are working on. Yet still, allow for them to be able to compile the code at large. This would deny the developer access to the entire code base. And even if he had access to the entire code base, he’d physically have to download one file at the time, which for our Windows NT example above, would require literally ~100,000 download operations – Making it far less likely that he would take the trouble of doing such a thing.

So the paradox becomes that of, that with Hyper IDE, you could easily outsource an entire project, even to some company you only partially trust, have them create all the code, yet still deny them access to the code as a whole. If you’d like to see this in action, you can check out my home server here, which for instance allows you to read all the code, yet still not have direct access to neither my database, nor the password/credentials for it. In addition, it prevents you read access to my password file, and also only allows you to actually modify things inside of the “/test/” folder. Effectively making an outsourced project, much easier to follow, and much more secure in nature, preventing all sorts of problems associated with outsourcing a software project. Read more about Hyper IDE here.

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