Unleashing Innovation: An Inside Look into Open Source with Boldkhuu Batbaatar

Today, we had the pleasure of interviewing Boldkhuu Batbaatar, a former member of the erxes family, about his experiences and involvement in the open source industry. Currently, serving as a Senior Software Engineer at Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Insight, which helps businesses collect, unify, and analyze customer data from multiple sources, such as sales, marketing, and service interactions. It enables businesses to gain a 360-degree view of their customers, create customer segments, and generate insights that can help improve customer engagement and drive business growth. 

Without further ado, let’s dive into our interview!

The Interview 

Thank you for joining Open Source Growth Guidebook to talk about your experience in the open-source space. Can you kick off the interview by telling us about your professional journey and how you got involved in open-source development? 

My foray into the world of open-source began with my involvement in erxes. At that time, we heavily relied on open-source tools and platforms for our everyday use due to the financial constraints of being a startup, especially in Mongolia. Through our extensive use of MeteorJS, we realized the immense power of open-source and made our own contributions and libraries to the community. Our experience with MeteorJS also led us to build our open-source platform using Javascript, which marked the beginning of my journey into the open-source space. 

Unfortunately, my involvement with erxes was short-lived. It lasted for about a year, as I decided to step into a new chapter of my life to pursue higher education in the States, majoring in Computer Science with a focus on Data Science, which eventually led me to my current position as a Senior Software Engineer at Microsoft. While my experience with open-source may be relatively limited, my involvement with erxes opened my eyes to the vast potential of this collaborative and innovative community.

As a tech professional, what do you think are the key benefits and limitations of open source space, both for developers and end-users?

One of the most significant benefits of open-source is that it encourages learning and growth. When developers share their code on open-source platforms, it’s like exhibiting their work in a gallery. It’s visible to anyone and can motivate individuals to work even harder and develop more since their work is available to the public. Additionally, getting feedback, comments, and pull requests from fellow developers can help individuals learn from their mistakes and each other, creating a thriving community of growth and learning.

When developers share their code on open-source platforms, it’s like exhibiting their work in a gallery.

It’s visible to anyone and can motivate individuals to work even harder and develop more since their work is available to the public. Additionally, getting feedback, comments, and pull requests from fellow developers can help individuals learn from their mistakes and each other, creating a thriving community of growth and learning.

However, monetizing open-source projects can be challenging. Many libraries with thousands of stars fail to generate any revenue, and the hard truth is that contributions and dedication to the open-source space don’t necessarily translate into easy earnings. Despite this, the exchange of contributions for knowledge and practical skills is a valuable opportunity for personal and professional growth.

In my experience with erxes, I faced challenges while building a GitHub repository from scratch and learning to use GitHub to its fullest potential. It required a significant investment of time and effort to figure out the best practices. Nevertheless, it’s inspiring to see erxes gain about 3000 stars on Github, starting from a simple brainstorming session in a small room. This growth and success demonstrate the potential of open-source to drive innovation and create opportunities for learning and development.

How do you see the future of open source software evolving, and what role do you think it will play in the tech industry as a whole?

Open-source provides a space for individuals to think openly and contribute to innovative projects. While it can be monetized, the fundamental principle of open-source is not connected to money. This enables it to foster creativity and exceptional ideas, as contributors are free to display their coding without the pressures of making sales.

Open-source is a place where the most imaginative and innovative ideas are sculpted because of its unencumbered nature.

Open-source is a place where the most imaginative and innovative ideas are sculpted because of its unencumbered nature. As technology continues to evolve rapidly, the core coding of these developments can still be grown in open-source space. This strengthens the open-source community and ensures its stability. 

Looking ahead, it’s possible to envision a future where the negative aspects of open-source are eliminated, and it becomes a space where everyone has a happy work experience. With this in mind, the open-source community has the potential to drive more innovation, create more job opportunities, and have a positive impact on the tech industry as a whole.

What recommendations and advice would you give to fellow tech professionals to maintain motivation and foster an innovative mindset? 

To become a better software engineer, there are three core skills that every developer should practice through open-source projects. First and foremost, code reading is perhaps an essential skill for every software engineer, as open-source provides access to all types of coding. Simply choose a project that interests you, such as a basketball-related project if you’re a fan, and read the code from the beginning to understand the problem it solves. You can then contribute to the project by creating pull requests if you have alternative solutions to offer.

The second core skill is code writing. If you cannot create a pull request from scratch, there are often lists of bugs that need fixing, which you can work on to improve your coding skills.

Last but not least, communication is crucial for success in open-source projects. How you receive and deal with feedback, comments, and bugs others have found in your repository is a form of communication. Whether you ignore it or work collaboratively with other developers to dive deep into pull requests is up to you. Practicing good communication and collaboration skills is vital to building relationships and improving your abilities as a software engineer. 

Make time to work on open-source projects, even if it’s only a little at a time. Utilize this valuable resource to its fullest potential for your benefit and growth as a developer.

erxes is an innovative product that was born in a small room where a group of open-minded individuals gathered to address real-life needs they were facing at that time.

What sets erxes apart from other companies is its focus on problem-solving rather than profit-making.

It’s clear that erxes was not created solely for financial gain but to help people overcome their challenges.

To all the software engineers reading this interview, I highly encourage you to contribute to erxes and learn from it. It’s a product born from a warm and collaborative environment, and I’m confident you’ll gain a lot from working with erxes.

Thank you for taking the time to chat with us today. We are confident that our readers will find this interview informative and valuable, particularly software engineers who will gain a unique perspective on the open-source space.


Grow your business better and faster.

All-in-one platform for the complete experience management lifecycle.

Try erxes