In a way I am lucky as in the last 23 years I always worked as a self-employed service provide, never as an employee. So it was easier to negotiate an contract that separated the time I work for the client from the rest of my time. This made it easy to work on other things, including open source projects albeit unpaid.
At most of my clients the employees were not contributing to open source projects, but I never really asked if it is lack of interest or if the corporation prohibits them from working on OS projects?
It's time to ask it.
- Does your employer allow you to work on open source projects in your free time?
- Does you employer allow you to do so during company time?
- What are the rules you have to follow?
- If it is ok, please also share, which company?
Top comments (5)
I don't think my employer, Mendix, would have objections against me working on OSS projects in my free time. In company time, it would have to be something relevant to company goals and it would have to be released under one of a selected few licenses and only after review by the CTO.
If it was contributing to some other open source project. e.g. a library you use at work that has a bug that you encountered. Would it be ok to fix it on company time? Would you still need to get approval to send the PR?
Formally, I think I should request approval, but I'm pretty sure it would be no problem sending a PR for the bug fix as long as it would contribute to achieving a company goal.
Yep. Bloomberg. Not only our own, but we have a commitment to Open Source as a company: github.com/bloomberg
My employer is an open source project!
But if people want to work on other stuff, we don't track people's "company time" — so if people can generally stay productive on the stuff they are working on, there is plenty of opportunity to sneak in some other work.
We're a small company without a ton of spare resources, so if somebody wanted to explicitly devote a lot of time to open source projects, it would have to be something with some meaningful relevance to our company.