[kde-community] Does KDE attempt to attract experienced contributors?

Thomas Pfeiffer 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 
paid jobs.


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