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Why Software Developers Benefit from Open-Source Software

Feb 28, 1999, 23:00 (0 Talkback[s])

"Participation in open-source software development is highly rewarding, both personally and financially. Furthermore, recent history underscores that investment in open source software greatly increases, not decreases, the opportunities for economic success in technology. The innovative nature of open source software creates entire new markets for commercial products, as well as other commercial opportunities such as support, packaging, distribution, training, consulting services, and development contracts."

"Most people who are not experienced in software development expect that the rewards of working on traditional commercial software would be far greater than that of working on open-source software. It is puzzling why a programmer would work hard on a software project only to give it away to the public at large, charging nothing for it and placing no restrictions on its use. It seems more intuitive that writing software which fetches a high price would yield higher professional and financial rewards."

"Yet many thousands of programmers gladly prefer to write open-source software, and their careers and pocketbooks tend to to be enhanced by doing so. Most do so in their spare time, as a way to gain valuable experience or fame; many others maintain open-source software which is vital to their "paid" job. And increasingly, programmers are commissioned or paid a salary to write or enhance open-source software; these are considered "dream jobs" and are chosen by the best and brightest in their profession over traditional programming jobs at much higher salaries. Why is working on open-source software such an attractive option?"

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