Roland Dreier: Open source is good for your career

Roland Dreier, the Infiniband maintainer for Linux, wrote a great summary of why writing open source software is a smart career move. From the entry:

[…] Contributing to free software is in the rational self-interest of nearly any software developer.

This is something I’ve been saying for years. While contributing to the greater good of all is an important motivation for most open source developers, I don’t think we emphasize enough the direct personal rewards for working on open source. If you are even moderately successful in open source, you will probably end up “employed for life.” Not necessarily by the same employer, but you will always have a crowd knocking on your door.

Update: Fixed Roland’s last name in the title – got it right in the body…

3 thoughts on “Roland Dreier: Open source is good for your career

  1. All artists have a portfolio. If you’re a creative type (or even just a really good craftsman) and your portfolio _isn’t_ on the web, you’re living in the dark ages.


  2. Speaking of such things, is anyone hiring kernel hackers in the Cambridge (UK) area? A friend has just taken redundancy from his last company where he’s been hacking on the kernel for at least 12 years (mostly memory management and filesystems IIRC) and Unix kernels before that, which should make him pretty desirable to anyone wanting a kernel hacker. I won’t name him here as it’s not my place to do so, but I could let him know of any places that might be interested.

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