Why Contribute to Open Source Software?

In other words, what is the value in contributing to Open Source?

For juniors / people new to a field

Mid-level developers / designers / etc. (a few years experience)

As a senior

Quotes from people

I think for many engineers it is a great way to get experience outside of the current responsibilities, and to get feedback and guidance from more experienced engineers while also contributing to better the ecosystem overall. Free code reviews from people who have decades more experience than you have is a great way to become a better engineer.

Yves Orton

It makes you a better programmer, you contribute to the community, and ramp up your communication skills

Ilay Nisim

My current life is in large part due to open source, so it’s only natural that I contribute back.

Bruno André Rodrigues Coelho

While contributing to some FOSS projects I liked that I was able to work at my own pace, without any hard deadlines. This is something that I never had at my day job, at my day job my main goal is to get the task done, the fact that I learn from it is a side effect, whereas while contributing to FOSS my main goal is to gain knowledge and the completion of the task is a side effect. It is much more relaxed. I also felt that when you contribute to FOSS, you get a wider perspective about the project at hand. For example, if I am using a library at work, then I am more likely to be focused on how to use this library in the domain I am working in, but when I contribute to this library (or even just go through the list of existing issues) I get to know how people are using this library in other domains, there is always some knowledge exchange, sometimes/often I apply that knowledge at my day job.

Upasana Shukla

David Precious

I like having good. free software alternatives available, so I gotta do my part.

Jason Smith

Exposing yourself to public ridicule concentrates the mind wonderfully.

All companies should force their devs release non-core parts of their code to open source 😉 … I have seen at least 3 proprietary web frameworks written in Perl which with some polishing would have made at least a medium splash had they been released in the mid-1990s when they were written … and with the danger of public ridicule they would have been improved.

Emil Perhinschi

I release my own stuff as open source for two main reasons. First, it means other people can do some of the work for me. Second, it’s my portfolio. I contribute to other peoples projects when they almost do what I want. Patching in my change is quicker and easier than writing my own version from scratch.

David Cantrell

I mess around with code for fun. The fact that someone else might find it useful is a bonus.

Paul Bennett

Open source gave me a career and I feel like I should give back if I can. Also by helping to grow the ecosystem of software I indirectly help myself. Win Win.

John Napiorkowski

It’s great because it’s a very large community, all working together, to move things forward. It’s also great when someone thanks you for your contributions.