How one can have a career in Open Source?

+2 votes
asked Feb 17, 2011 by Sandeep Pilakhnawal (91 points)
I am a student from India. I am an Open Source, Programming, Software and Technology enthusiast. I am a very fast Learner. How can I start a career in Open Source ? Or is it just something one should know ?

9 Answers

+2 votes
answered Feb 17, 2011 by Noah Rainey (614 points)
From my point of view it's very unlikely to make a full time living creating "free" software... if it's open source then how are you going to make a profit from it? You could make open source software and then make software with a price tag. Anyways, correct me if I'm wrong on this.
commented Feb 17, 2011 by Madison Tries (6,121 points)
Maybe have ads on the download site. But to make a living off of that... that may be hard.
0 votes
answered Feb 17, 2011 by David (3,306 points)
Open source is really free so it would be hard to make a living doing that. If you're truly an enthuiast, you go over to the different forums on Linux or Ubuntu and see about contributing to the ongoing projects they have. In the mean time to make money, you could always dive into developing apps for the different technologies out there and submit them to the app stores.
0 votes
answered Feb 17, 2011 by Mitte (511 points)
Something you also could think about is maybe try networking with Open-source software. A lot of servers that run today run on Apache or another version of linux. For all I know that's the only thing you really can make a living of.
0 votes
answered Feb 17, 2011 by eddieringle (2,311 points)
Many companies that operate open source projects pay their developers to ensure that the project is steadily updated. Just look at Google.
0 votes
answered Feb 17, 2011 by KaneBarrett (31 points)
Or..... you could just put advertising on the download page, so long as your software pulls in the traffic and the ads are relevent you should get a half decent income
0 votes
answered Feb 18, 2011 by vanerp (1 point)
I think it's an opportunity to 'prove' that you are capable of doing something. For instance build Wikipedia, or any kind of open source project no matter how small. It may generate profit eventually, whether by means of donations or job opportunities. You never know!
0 votes
answered Feb 19, 2011 by _GTech (1,311 points)
That is really a tough questions, you should consult a professional, otherwise your just tumbling over the idea...

Nobody on these boards would spend the hours necessary to train you, nor could they on a forum board.
0 votes
answered Mar 6, 2011 by kavungal (106 points)
Opportunities in open source will, to a large extent, be in **Support**. Support for installation and maintenance of OSs and stand-alone and web-based applications. More importantly, like @Mitte says, support for Server and Network installation, administration and maintenance.

I see a time when open source will be used, not only by the technically inclined, but also seriously evaluated based on customer requirements.

@Sandeep, if you can get skilled in developing web-based software and offer this as a SaaS (Software-as-Service; pay-per-use) model, the revenue will come. As long as, like any other product or service, it serves customers well.

And, of course, training!
0 votes
answered Apr 1, 2011 by ChrisLuckenbaugh (1 point)
You're questions vague. If you mean create it you have two options:

 - You could find employment with a
   for-profit corporation that uses open
   source software as the basis for its
   own software/business and thus
   contributes to its codebase. Examples include
   Apple(webkit, darwin llvm, bonjour),
   Google(android, chrome, go),
   Oracle(java, mySql), Redhat(redhat
   linux), Canonical(ubuntu linux), and
   Novell(mono, suse linux).
   
 - You could work for one of the
   non-profit organizations that manage
   an open source project. sometimes
   some of the bigger ones will hire
   payed developers. Examples of these
   include the Mozilla
   Foundation(firefox), and the Gnome
   Foundation.(gnome desktop)
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