Slowly coalescing some feelings into the idea that $pay_the_maintainer platforms are basically the gig economy for open source. FOSS sustainability conversations always seem to focus around pay (and not very much of it) as opposed to time (full-time jobs with good benefits)
I feel like it's not fair to compare "gainfully employed with benefits" to "can eke by enough of a living to not starve, but still an independent contractor." Not sustainable, and pretty dependent on externalities like "universal healthcare" and "social safety net" to work
I'd like to imagine a world where I'm compensated comparably just based on my FOSS work compared to what my employer pays me now? But I honestly can't.
I'm incredibly lucky, and I'd rather expand these kinds of opportunities than create yet another employee/contractor divide.
Does anyone outside of public charities and Red Hat have a *business model* of hiring FOSS developers to work on existing community-run projects as *employees*?
@ehashman I don't know if it counts or not.. but the FreeBSD project is known to hire FOSS Developers when they need something special for thing X done and they need help/expertiese
@ehashman some universities’ IT departments used to. MFCF comes to mind.
@ehashman I think the Sugar CRM folks do.
You could also grep major projects like the Linux kernel or Gnome for email addresses. That will give you a good idea of which companies directly contribute to FOSS.
You'll need to do some additional research, but that will give you a good starting point.
Also, it *used* to be fun to grep the Linux kernel for comments containing expletives. Some of the frustrated comments were quite funny. Newer kernels are a lot "cleaner."
@profoundlynerdy Linux kernel -> IBM made a lot of the initial early investments, RH pioneered the business model, most organizations don't have an existential dependence on it thriving, but those who do (or who have products who do) absolutely employ people to work on upstream FT
GNOME is a charitable foundation so
@ehashman IBM has famously contributed development hours to the Linux kernel. I'm not sure how involved they are these days, but I would suppose they still are. But then they just bought RedHat, didn't they?
@ehashman the company I work for, to some extent...? We are a mix of full-time employees and contractors, or part-time with partial benefits, and while the people who are only developers work on either a project that has a community foundation or another that is somewhat community-driven (via funding mostly) but maintained by the company. I'm not explaining this well because it's very fuzzy/confusing! But Canadian employees are full-time FOSS-devving https://www.artefactual.com/
@clacke not sure! Probably if it's a non-profit
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