[kde-community] Does KDE attempt to attract experienced contributors?
thomas.pfeiffer at kde.org
Fri May 13 12:06:26 BST 2016
On Freitag, 13. Mai 2016 11:06:18 CEST Laszlo Papp wrote:
> On Fri, May 13, 2016 at 11:00 AM, Eike Hein <hein at kde.org> wrote:
> > On 05/13/2016 06:50 PM, Laszlo Papp wrote:
> >> I do not mean to drag KDE experts away, but it seems that freelancing
> >> platforms have become more and more common. Also, many hobby software
> >> projects have undergone some business path. These generally include lots
> >> of FOSS project opportunities these days in my observation, so yeah, the
> >> question is this really: why would you choose working for free rather
> >> doing something similarly interesting for money and probably also with
> >> other experienced engineers?
> > The answer to this has been the same from the very start: Because you
> > think free software matters.
> I apologise if I had not expressed myself correctly. I do mean working on
> some free software for money compared to working on KDE free software for
> free. So, free software does matter, yet you can get (potentially
> well-)paid in return elsewhere.
Here is my perspective on this:
I don't know the actual relative numbers, but many of the commercially
successful open source software projects that I know of have originally
started without any money involved. Of course some Free Software projects have
had financial backing from the start, but many start out as a project people do
in their free time, and then when they realize they can actually make money
with them, they do so and turn into actual for-profit companies which pay
people to work on their software.
Even those, however, often still additionally have volunteer contributors, who
just like the software (which they get for free) so much that they contribute
to it for free even when others get paid for doing so (although each
individual usually spends far less time on it than those who get paid for
doing so). ownCloud is a great example here.
What I mean is, we should not divide the world into "Software people make for
free" and "Software people make for money". It's not black and white.
So, if we want to reach people who would like to eventually make a living
working on Free Software (a group to which I clearly belong, and a goal which
I have currently reached by being employed by Blue Systems), we should not shy
away from trying to look for ways we can make money from the software we
Maybe by attracting not only experienced developers, but also people talented
in finding ways to make money off Free Software (of course only in ways which
are compatible with our Manifesto!) we can make more KDE projects generate
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