Why Experienced Programmers Should Contribute to Open Source
People who have taken programming as their career has to do coding for almost 30 years. Will they always get an opportunity to do complex tasks or to write project from scratch? The answer is NO. Sometimes they may get but not always. What should they do?
Mostly programmers get a chance to enhance the existing code, fix bugs reported by clients or some other maintenance work. Every programmer has a dream to do something big, when they were in schools or college. When they enter in to the corporate world, it is shattered. Very few get an opportunity to pursue challenging tasks.
Say in your project, If you want to add a new feature or change existing architecture using Hadoop, NodeJS, or using any latest technology then Will you get a chance? Your manager will certainly reply that product management will not accept or they have different priority.
If a programmer landed up in a less challenging job then what should they do? If you ask your friends they may advice to quit the job and pursue the dream. But don't do that. It may hurt your lifestyle or your family lifestyle.
Corporate industry always tries to make money in the things they sell. They invest in a project which makes money. It is important for any industry or economy to make money. Continue to work in your company but pick some interesting open source projects and work on it. Join with your friends and start some thing interesting and creative.
If you continuously eat food outside in a restaurant or a hotel then in a few days you may get bored or your stomach will be upset. The solution is cook your own food. If you want something challenging then start something creative.
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I could see many many students posting this question in many forums, I want to contribute to open source but How to contribute? There are many ways to do that. I have listed a few and I hope it might be useful.
As open source getting popular day by day, many have questions like How to make money from Open Source? Lot more products are getting introduced and don't know who is making money. Certainly open source means, give the product and source for free then how to make money? Yes sell the product for free but get paid for its services.
Open Source projects requires sponsors to fund their project. Few got good funding but few others are struggling to continue their project. A contributor, who does full time work in open source project requires funding to take care his needs. He has to be paid and he cannot do it for free. For those who don't get fund, check out this crowdfunding sites, these are exclusively for open source projects. Join these, get some fund and continue your dream.
Many startups are entering in to the business due to open source. Open source acts as a back bone / pillar for their business. It reduces the cost of production, Generates revenue from consulting and support. This article describes about the startups which flourished because of open source. Sun acquired MySQL for $1Bn is the biggest achievement for open source startups.
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GPL is widely used and known license in Open Source community. Richard Stallman father of GNU is the man behind GPL. GPL gives freedom and not free software.
Open Source is the way to innovate and users using it should have complete freedom. Google has came forward to declare couple of its patents on Map Reduce under Open Patent Non-Assertion Pledge (OPN Pledge). There are multiple variants of open source license and using that means the product is completely free. Why OPN Pledge is required?
Students ask this question frequently steps or methodology to learn from open source projects. There is no single answer or steps available. I listed the steps which i follow and i hope this will help for few.