I hold most devs in high regard, here in devRant too. Please tell me none of you feels this way:


Get a fucking job if you wanna get paid. Jesus...

  • 13
    Who tf is gonna pay for your contributions? The whole fuckin point of open source is for it to be free and open for everyone
  • 11
    If someone is willing to pay you, they will do so through donations, provided you have set up the accounts. You can't expect to get paid as a salary. Build something cool to become popular so that people who might be interested might sponsor you.
  • 8
    The problem is there's two categories here - your open source projects owned and run by huge corporations (Java, Elasticsearch, VS code, etc.) and then there's "Bob's image caching tool" started a few years back by Bob, and used by a total of 5 people.

    For those tiny projects started by individuals off their own back then no - there's absolutely zero reason why they'd pay you, even if they could. Enforcing that would be madness. For meaningful improvements made to big projects owned by big corporations, for which the source just happens to be open, that's a different story. There is an argument to say they should, perhaps, compensate you for that since they directly benefit from your free work otherwise. It's not a position I agree with personally, but I can see why people make that argument.
  • 6
    Open-source code is written usually not on customer request but arises from one's own needs and willingness to share that code. What/if users choose to pay (donations) will go to "making the software better", not to one of their specific asks.

    Paying for open-source shouldn't be mandatory, though it may accept donations/sponsors. Evan You (creator of VueJS) eventually had enough financial support to go full-time open-source.

    Finally, there are other ways to monetize your open-source effort, like FontAwesome did (create a free open-source tier first, gain popularity, then create a more expansive premium tier) or require big corps of x+ employees to buy a license
  • 2
    When you talk OSS, you're making the source open and accessible and that's it. You can still charge for your service.

    That being said, it's become part of general courtesy/social structure to provide the service for free as well. By law, you're free to ask for compensation but the community won't like you for it. And it's not a noble battle to be won either. Just a minor hiccup. So you don't get the glory of fighting the right fight even.
  • 5
    Everyone contributes because they want to, not because they have a task in Jira and no manager shouted at them to do it...

    Some even contribute while being paid as part of their job, because they needed a fix for their actual project...

    Asking for any money is silly, open source owes you nothing... Think of all the open source solutions you used and you realize you actually owe to open source...
  • 7
    The Patron model is quite nice for this. Consider Evan You, creator of Vue.js, his monthly income according to his Patreon is 16k. I would say that open source projects like this one should be viable to do in this way.

    No, you shouldn't get "paid" if you are writing free stuff for people to consume, but the "buy me a coffee, support me in patreon" model works fine for the people that use said software and want to give something nice to the creator IF they are capable to do so

    I do it through products. I appreciate the effort made by the people of fast.ai to publish free tutorials and content, so when the book came out I purchased it, even though you can get the entire content on jupyter notebooks for free. I always said that once I started to make money i was going to do little things like these that would show some form of appreciation, which is nice, but not mandatory and shoult not be a guilt trip for devs, specially ones that are still in student mode.
  • 2
    @halfflat except as I said... There is no "need for care"

    No one "needs" your contributions...

    It's not work, It's a hobby at best.

    This is like playing a guitar, recording a few covers and putting it for free on the net and then demand someone compensates you because people like the covers
  • 4
    It's the fucking job of many people to develop open source
  • 3
    Exactly, my thoughts.

    While the authors shouldn't be expecting anything in return from their contributions, the users should also not take their contributions for granted.

    I have seen an example where I shared some npm library, and they kind of asked for a few more features 🤷

    If you need a feature and it's not present, implement it yourself as simple as that.

    Donations and lime light are all secondary from my pov.
  • 2
    I wish GitHub had an integrated payment system to give tax-deductible dontations.

    Also, what do you think for free GPL3 and paid MIT license?
  • 2
    The economics of OSS are actually a problem because OSS itself is not sustainable. There are some basic ways that work:

    1) Hobby coding. Nobody gives a fuck, it's just for fun and maybe propping up your CV. OTOH, you don't owe anyone shit.
    2) Make the SW a commodity that boosts your hardware sales (Intel, AMD, ARM - but NVidia fails to grasp this).
    3) Make money off of support, not the SW - however, that breeds SW that will need support in the first place.
    4) GPL your stuff (or AGPL for backend SW), but offer dual licencing so that customers with CS don't have to GPL their stuff (see Qt).

    The problems with 4) that e.g. Elasticsearch ran into is that first, the AGPL requires linkage to even hit in, and second, the threat isn't great enough because you'd still need tons of hardware. That's why they went for the SSPL which isn't OSS, rather "shared source".
  • 2
    @eo2875 Paid MIT is nonsense because the first customer can just put everything in a Github repo, and that was your last sale. That customer may actually be a competitor of yours.
  • 3
    Most FOSS contributions probably already come from people, who get paid to make that software work for someone.

    But the real problem here is, that humanity still hasn't ascended to the next level where the need to work for a living doesn't exist anymore.
    Pretty communist, i know. And will likely never happen. But it would be possible if greed wasn't a thing and AI able to recognize objects properly (because computer vision literally is the last piece of the autonomous production and logistics puzzle).

    Imagine how much actually helpful or enjoyable code could be written, if legions of coders wouldn't need to do ad tech and dark patterns for a living...
  • 2
    @Oktokolo The main problem with that is that there are tons of jobs with real work. So, not like dev or management stuff. Shit that is hard, unpleasant, but necessary.

    And no, tech hasn't automated that - instead, our expensive first world salaries with minimum wage have offshored it to Vietnam and Bangladesh. Out of sight, but not out of existence.

    Or, no, tech won't automate that because when your toilet is clogged, you can't call up Amazon - you need someone to literally deal with your shit. Nobody does that because it would be a cool hobby or get you high social status or so.

    Or, no, tech can't automate that because nurses are pretty much the only human interactions patients in hospitals get, and if you remove even that in favour of robots, it will suck.

    That doesn't even include any perspective on our dwindling resource situation that puts any gizmo-centric future out of reach anyway.
  • 3
    Honestly, I believe you should not contribute to open source if your goal is to make money. Do it to make the world a better place, if possible. Everybody should have access to the knowledge and tools as easily as possible, like you have it for art, scientific articles and general education.

    Maybe get some sponsors to cover the costs of hardware and third parties if necessary or voluntary contributions, but IMO it should be non-lucrative.
  • 1
    Alright. No more open source contributions from me then 💁🏼‍♀️
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