DEV Community

Cover image for The True Price of My Open Source Journey

Posted on

The True Price of My Open Source Journey

Ever wondered what it costs to be an Open Source Software (OSS) developer? I decided to break down my monthly expenses to give you a glimpse into the financial side of my passion for OSS. While I don't do it for the money, sharing this information might help those considering a similar path.

Monthly Expenditure Overview

Tools I Invest In

  1. GitHub Pro: $4 USD/month

    • Essential for managing numerous repos with added features and higher limits.
  2. DockerHub Pro: $5 USD/month

    • Pro features assist in larger projects with vulnerability scanning and image inspections.
  3. Dedicated Servers: $65 USD/month

    • Playground for development and hosting production-grade projects, like my Valheim project.
  4. IDE (IntelliJ): $249 USD/year

    • Unbeatable integrations for efficient development.
  5. Dbeaver: $23 USD/month

    • The go-to IDE for databases in my opinion.
  6. Cloud Services (AWS/Azure/Google Cloud/B2 Backblaze): $27 USD/month

    • Covers backups, static sites, databases, and more.

Yearly Cost: $1,737 USD

Cost-Free Tools

  1. Open Source Tools
    • Utilizing free and powerful tools like K8sLens, croc, kubectl, curl, bind-tools (including dig, nc), grep, aria2, terraform, rclone, and many more.

Not Calculated but Still Costs

  1. Time Investment

    • Spending an average of 20 hours per week on OSS development.
  2. Living Expenses

    • Utilities, housing, and daily sustenance.
  3. Education

    • Investing time and money into a Bachelor's and Master's in STEM fields.
  4. Hardware and Technology

    • Continuous investment in equipment for development.

Why Share This?

While I'm not in it for the money, the true cost of my OSS journey involves much more than what's reflected in these numbers. It's a labor of love, a commitment of time, and a dedication to personal and professional growth. If you're considering the OSS path, remember, the most valuable contributions often go beyond the balance sheet.

Top comments (11)

fk profile image
Fırat Küçük • Edited

I pay for IDEA around 100 euros. For many years I have been using that one. After 3 years you're reaching the minimum price. If you have an opensource project they might give you one free of charge. For database operations, IDEA is more than enough I guess. For Docker, GitLab is a good alternative, and Repsy for maven, python, and npm artifacts. Vercel and Supabase have free tiers for hobby projects. If you are not earning any money you might think Contabo hosting. It's somewhat of a cheap option. DigitalOcean might be something in the middle.

manchicken profile image
Mike Stemle

Yeah, I’m glad that you have the resources for the tools you find helpful for open source development. I mean that.

However, one need not spend any money outside of hardware and internet to contribute to open source, and in some parts of the world you don’t even need that.

I love how many paths there are for open source contribution.

miketalbot profile image
Mike Talbot ⭐

Interesting article!

Personally I've moved from DBeaver to DataGrip and it reduces my costs as my JetBrains All Products pack is significantly cheaper in subsequent years.

mbround18 profile image

I have been experimenting with datagrip! I really enjoy the tool and I've been thinking of cutting dbeaver because of it. :) I am waiting right now for copilot integration into datagrip to see if it can help me define queries better.

jagedn profile image
Jorge Eψ=Ĥψ

I use to assist to meetups because some of them raffle intellij license 😁

glntn101 profile image

Thanks for sharing, good article!

ranjancse profile image
Ranjan Dailata

Did you put a Donation button something so you could get funded. I mean only if you wish to do so :)

mbround18 profile image

I have it on all my repositories and in my github Readme but donations are few & far between. I had donations for a little bit and I was extremely grateful for them but in this economy it's understandable when I saw those subscriptions or onetime donations cease.

dsaga profile image
Dusan Petkovic

Oh very interesting to see the actual numbers, but time is probably the largest investment, I just wonder how to balance working for a company and doing open source? how do you do it?

mbround18 profile image
Michael • Edited

I joke with my coworkers that once I clock out I put my work laptop away and pull out my development laptop. It's a little bit of a joke but is based in truth. When I'm done working ~5 I will sign out of my worl laptop and load up my desktop to work on oss

dsaga profile image
Dusan Petkovic

LOL, as long as you don't get burnout from all the screen time, you for sure need to take some breaks from time to time.