Open Source: the best job insurance

Instead of buying a job insurance, people should consider involving themselves in an Open Source project. Technical aspects of open Source are today quite well-known, but the social aspects of Open Source still begin to find their way in the professional communities.

And indeed, when you are deeply involved in an Open Source project, you broke the traditional link that was tying you to your enterprise and the activities you do for it. If this enterprise has put in place an Open SourceĀ  Governance plan, rules of your contribution to that project are clear. And if you’re lucky to work for an enterprise which accepts that your may work on Open Source projects, be it on your free time or work time, then they indeed granted you a job insurance ;-)

Because you will develop your skills with your involvement, increase your relational network (including most of the time with some of your professional competitors, which may well be co-developers around your project), even better than what a LinkedIn can provide to you. And then when the time comes (more frequently today than it was in the previous years unhappily) when you want or have to change job, you’ll still be able to continue working around your Open Source project if you wish so! That’s the beauty of the licenses such as the GPL governing most of the Open Source projects today. Even if your contributions belong to your enterprise. Even if your enterprise owns the repository, you may fork and continue. The license allows that to you.

And that involvement will also probably be an important point in your new employment discussion and you may even be recruited because of that !

Ok, I’m dreaming loud here, as I didn’t happen to me yet ;-) But as your capabilities are publicly exposed through your mailing list posts, repository patches, bug reports, … it will speak for you much better than all the Resumes you could provide.

So you should now push your enterprise towards adopting a favourable Open Source policy allowing you to work on Open Source projects and start building your insurance ! My personal projects are seeking for volunteers ;-)

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4 Responses to “Open Source: the best job insurance”

  1. rlg Says:

    Hi Bruno,

    Please to see that you’ve opened your blog. I’m totaly agree with concerning the capability of the open source communities to help in a carreer evolution.

    I know some people (like me ;) ) who were recruited because of their work in open source projects.


    Rodrigue

  2. Erwan Velu Says:

    If we all dream loud, maybe it will work ;o)

  3. Arnaud Says:

    An original tought about open source indeed! But how do CIO’s see this? I completely share your analysis today, but how will this evolve? Quick thoughts.

    IMHO, one characteristic of open source is that it has a specific software development lifecycle, with active participation of communities, providing an added confidence into the technology itself. It helps preventing vendor lock-in, to the extent that it enables an alternate track besides the 4 “big” vendors stacks (Microsoft, IBM, SAP and Oracle to my knowledge). So it seems valid at first sight, and having participated to an open source project might be seen as an openness hint, good point.

    But still, IT decision-makers are facing 2 main issues. They first seek out advice in choosing the right open source strategy, and the decision becomes harder as the number of projects increases out in the Internet. Second, then they look at the available support. One of the biggest difficulties for IT decision-makers is to find “appropriate” support services, so there is an opportunity for any individual (or organization) recognized by his/her/its peers in the domain. But this does not answer the question of the “right” strategy, if for instance one of the criteria is the sustainability of the product or project (depending if we look at pure players or commercial players) ? So… how is it we can assess and choose the most relevant solution, given an IT issue? If you look at all possible solutions … work to be done here.

    Coming back on my comment: how would ‘C’ guys see one’s participation to open source projects in the coming years ? What *if* there are too many projects confusing the IT folks, hence telling them ‘choose the commercial product’?

    My personal view is that even more than open source itself, enterprise architectures and the ability to connect the various technologies makes the buzz today. If you go to google.com/trends and compare ‘open source’ and ‘soa’, the increasing correlation between the two subjects is stunning. SOA as an even better job insurance ? ;-)

    • brunocornec Says:

      > if for instance one of the criteria is the sustainability of the product or project

      There is not much more assurance in the proprietary play as well: If Oracle buys tomorrow another firm developing product XYZ, what will be the future of XYZ for its existing customers ? Maybe no future. Whereas when you deal with an Open Source projetc, if te project is criticial enough for your IT, then you dedicate resources to maintain it, or you change, and choose another one (same as you would do if XYZ is abandonned). But you have the *choice*.

      Even if there is proliferation of projects (would be great !) then the people involved in those projects will still have value due to that fact.
      And last point, if SOA is to become an even better job insurance, be sure the Affero GPL v3 will be not far behind ;-)

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