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Why Software Developers Benefit from Open-Source Software

“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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