dimanche 23 novembre 2008

OSS for companies: Why people are participating in FOSS communities?

II-6 Why people are participating in FOSS communities?

1st Learn and develop new skills

This is a concept which can be quite strange for someone who has taken the habits of using commercial package.With Open Source solutions you have to understand and try to learn by yourself then if you are really in a mess the community will be here to help you.

A good example of this is when you go on a IT discussion and ask to people to solve your problem directly.Most of the time they don't give you the code or fix your problems they will instead give you some clues to fix it by yourself.

In Open Source there is this philosophy of learning by yourself.The self improvement that we hardly ever find in commercial solution.

2nd Share knowledge and skills

When I began to code in my second year at the university I remember this guy who helps me through the net and explained me how to fix my problem.He corrected all my code.I was in trouble for this code and had to send it in some hours.This guy fixed everything and told me that one day he was in the same situation and someone else did exactly what he was doing now:provide me an emergency solution.

It was great to have this sharing of knowledge with him.

3rd Improve job opportunities

This is a fact which can be proved very easily.The more a technology makes some noise the more you need some people competent in this area.As a matter of facts it creates more and more job opportunities.

4th Derive direct income from this participation

5th Derive indirect income

Such as getting a job unrelated to free software thanks to their previous or current participation in free software developer communities

6th Intellectually stimulating

Computer is a science where it is quite easy to see your progress.When you learn something by yourself and that you can concretly see what you learn this is intellectually stimulating.

I can take for example the case of the French website "Le site du zéro" which give you some material to learn some computer and basic languages such XHTML,PHP,C/C++ and teach you how to use Linux or to set up a website.

When you learn how to make your website step by step it's incredible because you can see your project growing from your first page,first sentence,first picture to how to put your website on Internet.

That kind of experience is intellectually stimulating.

7th Code should be open

This point comes from an ethical point of view which is that: knowledge,culture should have no price.

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