I got associated with PostgreSQL development since last year
and half. What a amazing experience it has been! I had never
been a part of any open source project before that, so it was a
very refreshing change for me. Now I wonder if I would ever
be able to work in a proprietary software development projects.
That's not as scary as you might think because open source
software are going great guns and I believe they would do
so for next many years and decades.
So you may wonder what do I like so much about open source
and community driven software development. I think there are
quite a few reasons it excites me. First, I get to interact with so
many people who IMHO are much smarter than me. That gives
me opportunity to learn from them. Second, I like the
open communication that goes on the mailing lists. I get a chance
(like everybody else) to express my opinions freely. That also
teaches me how to work in a remote/distributed environment and
the experience is unparalleled in today globalized world. Third, it
brings me a lot of recognition. Remember, all the work I am
doing is available for everybody to see and measure. One can
easily review my work and also see reviews done by others.
I believe that would help me establish credibility over
a period of time.
You may ask, how do I earn my livelihood by working on
a Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) ? Well, thats not so
difficult. For example, with companies like EnterpriseDB
getting solidly behind the open source software projects like
PostgreSQL, its not hard to earn some $s while working on
your favorite technology. Of course, you need to be committed
and focused on your work. There is no getting away from
hard work :-)