PayPal has hired Danese Cooper for the new position of Head of Open Source, a role meant to improve PayPal's engagement with external software engineers.

"Danese comes to PayPal with an incredible track record as a technologist, strategist and evangelist," says Kirsten Wolberg, PayPal's vice president of technology business operations, in a Feb. 20 blog post. "And if this doesn't say it all, she was the first Chief Open Source Evangelist at Sun and the first female Chief Technology Officer of Wikimedia Foundation."

Open source practices typically involve making computer code available to the public to use and adapt.

"Late last year, PayPal saw huge success with the open source release of our node.js application framework, kraken," Wolberg writes of the use of technology that's designed to make server and application programming easier. "Moving our frontend application framework into the public sphere was a major step for us as a company in not only giving back to the node community through our contribution, but in engaging with the external engineering community in a new way."

Cooper is also on the boards of the Drupal Association and the Open Source Hardware Association, and she is a member of the Apache Software Foundation, Wolberg says.

PayPal separately announced that it is extending its software development kit (SDK) into more than 30 markets globally, and that car service ordering company Uber will accept PayPal as an in-app payment option for its U.K. users. Uber in November announced it would use PayPal's SDK to build new payment options.

The SDK enables developers to enable PayPal payments from within an app or website. The SDK also enables credit card acceptance.

PayPal has been courting external developers by hosting events for programmers and through multiple acquisitions that added technology and talent.  Uber already worked with Braintree, a company PayPal bought in December to improve its offerings for developers.

"Last year, we doubled down on our developer program to not only make it easier and faster for developer to accept PayPal, but to also demonstrate how important the developer community is to us," says John Lunn, global director of the PayPal developer network, in the announcement. Last month, PayPal merged its internal developer relations team, headed by Lunn, with Braintree.

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