, 7 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
Mini-thread on Open Source, getting paid, and professionalism! I think a very useful metaphor for successful Open Source teams is community fire departments.
Most importantly, when advocating to fund and support Open Source, what really gets to the heart of things is "This project is our volunteer fire department, we should make sure they have what they need".
Like dedicated community fire departments: what I've seen in the OSS projects I've been involved in, is that though people volunteer their time, they shoot for the highest levels of professionalism, and often exceed full-time commercial efforts.
What tends to suffer is the administrative infrastructure around the team, because few enjoy paperwork and make-work, and the ability to make truly sustainable long-term plans, because volunteers still come and go.
Paying projects, and OSS developers, directly should definitely be more common and a thing, but it's not the right fit for everything. When I think back to the core Apache httpd crew, powering 90% of the Internet, I think most of the team would have resented payment.
This is similar with volunteer fire depts. Some prefer to be compensated for their time, and see it as only fair, others reject it out of a sense of community pride, that's not what they're in it for. Circumstances vary a lot.
But still: they are your fire department, which is pretty key infrastructure, so talk to them, ask them what they need, and try to help! It's only in your interest.
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