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IBM developerWorks: How to make money with open-source software

Aug 16, 1999, 19:14 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Donald K. Rosenberg)

"It's true that open-source software is free for the taking and that millions of copies of open-source programs, drivers, scripts, and extensions are downloaded over the Web with no money changing hands. It's also true that open source is a growing market, and that more people are making money at it. So how do you, a developer, go about it?"

"The simplest, easiest way is to keep on doing what you love: writing code. There is a growing demand for people with your open-source skills. Your chances are greater than ever of finding a job using your expertise in Linux, sendmail, Apache, Perl, Scriptics, or Python. You can be a regular employee or a contract employee, moving from job to job."

"But you're probably reading this because you want more independence and would like to go into business for yourself. As an employee, you need one main thing: your expertise as an open-source expert. As an independent developer, however, you will need not only your open-source expertise, but also the ability to be your own boss, marketer, salesman, and business manager (are you sure you want two full-time jobs?). In short, you're going to have to go beyond being a developer."

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