Jobs in FOSS development

Well, couldn’t say more about how much I admire FOSS movement. Just wondering (I hope this isn’t too vulgar) is there any paid job in FOSS? Or those softwares are mere result of voluntary contribution? Anyone has this type of job for their everyday living? I believe some of you do involved with Ton directly, but I’m talking about FOSS in general, not just blender. Also might aswell ask any chance for the non programmers individual?

For those like me going “wtf, foss?” - it means “free and open source software” unless im mistaken.

There is money to make. Google also has the summer of code etc and some places are commercially sponsored etc…

edit: Is there a bug with the forum? i just had the size tag randomly appear for no apparant reason in my post

yeah Free, Open Source Software. I realize projects such as Gnome are sponsored by Linux major players such as Redhat. But I want to hear from those who really have real experience from paid FOSS employee

I’m not sure whether this is the most effective forum to pursue such a topic.

Also, the subject can become rather murky rather quickly. For example, consider http://www.openoffice.org. This is a project that literally produces an open-source suite of software that really does match, tit-for-tat, commercial products like (particularly) Microsoft Office. Their site is also very informative. Let’s look at this quote from the About pages:

StarDivision, the original author of the StarOffice suite of software, was founded in Germany in the mid-1980s. It was acquired by Sun Microsystems during the summer of 1999 and StarOffice 5.2 was released in June of 2000. Future versions of StarOffice software, beginning with 6.0, have been built using the OpenOffice.org source, APIs, file formats, and reference implementation. Sun continues to sponsor development on OpenOffice.org and is the primary contributor of code to OpenOffice.org. CollabNet hosts the website infrastructure for development of the product and helps manage the project.

So… we have open source, and Sun Microsystems. A publicly-traded commercial computer company … doing open source, and paying some of its employees to be, full-time, “the primary contributor of code.” There are countless similar examples… for example, the maker of MySQL is a true company, and billions of dollars’ worth of commerce relies upon that product.

If there’s one thing that you can say about FOSS projects, it’s that the finances are definitely there but they are unconventional. In other words, the source-code is not being locked in a bank-vault and shipped out only in compiled form. Money is certainly being made, and it’s being paid out every day in salaries, but the business-model being used is not simply one of “make widgets, stuff them in a box, ship them to a customer.”

How 'bout Blender? Why do so many people spend so much time and hard work, working on this thing? For their own self-aggrandizement? Hardly. By putting a little something in, they get out more than they alone put in. And so do all the rest of us, including some of us who haven’t contributed any code to it and wouldn’t know how. “The whole,” as they say, “is greater … much greater … than the sum of its parts.”

Could Blender have been done “the conventional way?” Well, for a while they certainly tried … and the business failed. But the product didn’t. And, today, it has grown into a warm not-so-little fire that keeps a lot of houses toasty warm.