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Gavin Rehkemper
Gavin Rehkemper

Posted on • Originally published at gavinr.com

Support Software Developers

Support what you use and enjoy. This is true in all aspects of life, including software. Especially open source software.

Here are a few simple ways to do that.

1. "Star" the project on GitHub (FREE)

Giving a project a "star" tells the developer that you appreciate their effort. It costs you nothing, but is quite encouraging to the developer when it appears in the feed.

This encouragement is important because open source projects generally do not get any feedback when the software works well -- the developer only hears about problems and bugs.

Click the GitHub Star

2. Send a personal thank you message (FREE)

Find the developer's email address via GitHub or their personal website, and send a quick note of thanks and appreciation. It need not be long or complex. Taking a small amount of time out of your day to do this is very meaningful and really encourages the developer.

This can be done using social media, but I encourage doing it via email because it's more personal and feels more direct. If you're big into social media, do via social media and email!

3. Send money

If you have the means, taking a small portion of your donation budget each year to send it to software developers who work on the software you enjoy is a great way of saying thanks. Sending a donation is easier than ever.

  • If the software has an Info or About page, it might mention ways to donate there.
  • If the project has a GitHub page, check the "Sponsor this project" section.
    sponsor github

  • Find a contributor by going to the GitHub repository "Insights > Contributors" page and see if they have a GitHub Sponsors or other sponsorship link on their user page.
    github insights contributors

  • Find their personal homepage to see if they accept donations via an alternative method.
    jeff geerling personal website

  • If none of these steps led you to a donation page, go back to option two above, and ask if they have a way to donate directly.

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