I've been kicking around this idea of sponsoring developers via GitHub Sponsors to work on feature requests on our (RudderStack's) open source software (GitHub repo here).
I'm of the opinion that just because you are doing work on open source software doesn't mean you shouldn't be compensated. I know some people don't agree with me on this though.
What are your thoughts? Is compensating open source developers, in our case via GitHub Sponsors, to do work on open source software good or bad?
Top comments (7)
Actually...I find it more than slightly alarming that anyone would believe that working on open source means you automatically shouldn't get compensated.
That is an old, dying argument. The bigger argument against it from a company perspective that I've heard now is that you're paying for contributors. Like trying to bump your numbers, not build a real community, which I think is nonsense.
...as if paying someone automatically negates any social contribution they might have otherwise brought.
Yeah, the arguments against compensating open source developers strikes me as straw man arguments to conceal a sense of entitlement. "I want this software for free-as-in-free-beer, without any danger of my having to pay you for your work." But they won't say that, so they have to fabricate something.
Depends where it'll go. It could be good if we start seeing more developers become full time open sourcerers (see what I did there?). A few extra bucks isn't really going to make it worth the effort though.
I'm thinking feature request bounties. Have our engineers estimate LOE, pay at a fair market rate (~$65/hr), take applications so multiple devs aren't doing parallel, competitive work. So payment directly to devs.
This sounds like bountysource would work better if you're going with that type of model.
Money can be a major motivator/incentive for any person to do more of something. There is a lot of really brilliant open source software and tools, and I believe that they deserve it. If more people make many more awesome tools, everyone benefits.