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

Laszlo Papp lpapp at kde.org
Fri May 13 18:04:51 BST 2016

On Fri, May 13, 2016 at 5:16 PM, Stephen Kelly <steveire at gmail.com> wrote:

> Thomas Pfeiffer wrote:
> > 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
> The topic of money is quite narrow, and money attracts people regardless of
> whether they have experience.

It is possible that money attracts GSoC students, too, and people with less
experience than the experts as you are writing, but quite frankly: they are
less likely to get the paying jobs and projects than the experts with the
relevant skill set.

I was not expecting to get projects to work productively on for money
before gaining experience and expertise in the particular field. It is
difficult to find experts at times and they can easily sell their skills if
they wish to earn money. So, IMHO money is important for some experts, who
are in similar situation than me: insane property prices in the UK. I can
think of other reasons, too, like maintaining a big family, etc.

You may think that it is "narrow", but if an expert can rightfully sell the
skills, while that is not possible in KDE, perhaps the way to attract such
experts would be to figure out why this cannot be done in KDE.

> I'm looking for broader thoughts on the topic of the thread. If you wish,
> re-read my original mail, but with the constraint that we're talking about
> 'volunteer/free-time' development.

Yes, I am talking about that, too. I started doing freelancing in my
"volunteer/free-time" (i.e. beside the main job) when I feel that I need to
get some hacking to be happy. From my experience, I can easily find paying
FOSS projects to work on, which was surprising to me the first time, but
this seems to be the case. Sometimes, I even have to turn people down when
they offer these opportunities. This is not because I am very good,
however. I just see that if someone has the right skillset and experience,
it is possible to get to this point.

I agree with Thomas' sentiment that if KDE can somehow generate more paid
jobs, it will significantly boost its future. I do not know how it can get
to there, though, so I would not comment on that one.

So money is one factor for some. We cannot expect experts to work on KDE
for free when there are so many cool FOSS projects out there for them
(surely, KDE is not the only cool FOSS project) which are having paying
business models.

( If someone knows a cheap property in the UK, of course, let me know about
that. ;-) )

Oh, and one more thing: in my experience, I usually work with professionals
in paid FOSS projects. This is appealing.

Best Regards,
Laszlo Papp

> Thanks,
> Steve.
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