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From Grant Ingersoll <gsing...@apache.org>
Subject Are devs who work on or use open source happier in their employment?
Date Thu, 23 Sep 2010 15:37:56 GMT
One of the things I've noticed in my day job, which is admittedly self-selecting since I work
for a company that engages with people deploying open source, is that I routinely hear, how
shall I say it, more enjoyment from the developers in their work as compared to the old days
when they worked on a proprietary equivalent, and I think it even holds true when working
on "troubleshooting" engagements where something is broken.  Since, most of us here likely
work on open source, I'm curious as to what others think?  Are devs who work on or use open
source happier in their day jobs?  And I don't just mean committers/contributors here, I mean
people who are using the software to solve some bigger problem for their company and who may
never do anything more than ask a question on a mailing list from time to time.  Has anyone
seen _independent_ studies that say one way or the other?  (References please.)  I do think,
that some of the answer depends on the quality of the software they are working on (just as
it likely does when working on proprietary software), so perhaps I should separate out what
could be called hobbyist open source versus open source that has a large community of followers
(regardless of license) like Linux, ASF projects, Eclipse, etc.  Therefore, assuming two different
pieces of software, one being proprietary and one being open, both of which will solve the
problem, are developers who solve the problem with open source happier in their job?

At any rate, my motivation for asking is that I'm writing an article on some thoughts in this
area spurred by something a client told me (at a very old, established company, mind you)
about why they wanted to get the word out that they were using open source:  they felt it
would help them attract and retain developers b/c they would be more satisfied in their jobs
b/c they got to work on innovative open source technologies.

Thanks for your insights,
Grant



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