lundi 7 mars 2011

Why would someone contribute to open source project? what would programmer get in return?

Why would someone contribute to open source project? what would programmer get in return? 

Started by : Malith Mahiru
Linkedin group : Open Source
Number of comments as today : 131

"I want to contribute to open source, but I don't know how I can do that and still feed my children"

Good question that every freelance worker has already asked to himself (if he has no children to feed or a wife to cherish, he might have some friends to entertain, and Christmas is in a couple of days)

Here is a tentative answer

when you contribute to open source, i have understood that the community would give some credit. ("recognition" that was discussed above).

Then recognition might bring you some client leads. And you might have a job that you would be accountable for ("accountability" was discussed also above)

I call this a "creation / recognition swap" in the immaterial (knowledge) economy.

If you effectively get the credit you deserve from your contribution, i would think that it is a fair economical swap.

(PS : if someone needs innovation governance consultancy, i am your man and i have three young kids and a wife who are expecting Christmas presents ;-))


Second thoughts on the "creation/recognition swap".

Many Open Source (physical) contributors stay anonymous (just as many wikipedia contributors).

So fun or altruism might be the end answers.

How so companies who develop Open Source code ?
They pay employees to develop the code ("just like another job" said Max) and then they let the code go into the Open Source community for "free".

What is the deal that enable these companies to compensate their shareholders ?

thanks you for this post. Let me build some interpretation :

Business perspective :
* A Programmer is employed by a Company to develop Code

* Under American contracts, the Code belongs to the Company.

* The Company compensates the Programmer for his work and the copyrights of the Code

* The Company decides how the Code should be at delivery time to Clients under business constraints : deadlines, secrecy, conformance to quality levels as requested by Clients, costs, etc.

* The Company decides how the Code should be produced through methods, tools, labor organisation, etc.

Human perspective
* A Programmer likes writing Code as a hobby (as an artist)

* A Programmer likes to be recognized and applaused, even loved and honored (as an entertainer)

* A Programmer has its own imperatives about its Code /Art which captures/reflects his deep personality and talents

* A Programmer wants his Code/Art to be admired by its own intrinsect characteristics and not because it has been well marketised or compliant to business criterias

* A Programmer likes to belong to a Community who share the same values/attitudes towards the Code

Of course this analysis is highly caricatural, not all companies and not all programmers are as the Company and the Programmer as depicted as above

Happy New Year to all of you.

My best wishes for the development of your Art.

and i wonder why IT project governance/management practices are still under Copyright as there are today Creative Commons.

Are IT project managers or IT client managers really different than IT developpers ?