Who the Frag Has Time For Open Source?

This developer is highly interested in open source -- but there are only 24 hours in a day. Plus: She explores a way to contribute after all.
Sara Chipps is a software programmer specializing in ASP.NET/C#/SQL.

The other day I was reading Jeff Atwood's blog post discussing why OO.o couldn't attract people to their open source initiative. He made some great points about it being OO's job to attract the developers to them by offering a worry-free coding environment and catering to their needs. I completely agree, but it really got me to wonder.

When on earth do I have time to contribute to an open source project?

open source, photo of women

Her life may appear glamorous...

Now some my think I live a jet-set glamorous life with my spray on tan and my beautiful friends, but really those fun crazy times are few and far between. What my life really exists of is work (which I enjoy), development, Tivo, take-out, and Reddit. In that order.

When I'm doing development work I'm working on the parts of my project that I don't have time for during the day. The refactoring, the "not cutting corners," the things I didn't have time to do. Not just this project either. I've been like that as long as I can remember, about every project I care about. I'm thinking about the project, not something new.

Do you do open source? Most of you have children and families at home, I can't imagine that you have time between bed time stories and washing the dinner dishes to get to know a new project and care enough about it to get seriously involved.

I mean, I don't know about you guys but I get approached all the time by people looking for a developer who does "side work." They say, "You can just throw something small together." Nevermind the reality behind "something small," but I always say "no, sorry, I don't have time." That's stuff I would get PAID for, not free.

Do I use open source stuff? Sure. Do I support the projects? Absolutely. However, I definitely need a clone if I'm ever going to think about getting involved in one.

But Wait: Sara contributes after all: How to Contribute to Open Source (When You're Not Exactly Scott Hanselman)




Tags: open source, developer, programmers


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