Will Open Source Developers be Well Paid?

“By his own description, Dirk Riehle is a major fan of open
source software. Riehle, leader of the open source research group
at SAP Labs in Palo Alto, California, spends countless hours
theorizing about the economics of this emerging software trend.

“He’s the author of The Economic Motivation of Open Source
Software, a scholarly article that describes significant shifts in
the software business. Datamation spoke with him about how these
shifts are shaping the pay levels of open source developers.

“To understand Riehle’s thesis, you have to understand how he
uses the term ‘Committer.’ A Committer in an open source project is
a leading developer, someone who shapes the growth of that project,
in contrast to regular developers, who work as contributors.
However, Riehle notes, the line between these two positions–the
level of influence and responsibility–is far from clear…”


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