Sunday’s keynote at SCaLE was given by Stormy Peters. She talked about open source, business contributions and the social and financial economies driving development.
Three of her research questions were:
- What is the initial motivation that encourages people to contribute?
- How do companies pay for open source contributions? (and what’s the effect?)
- How do companies change projects when they join?
Her conclusion was that the developer community needs to teach businesses how to do things right for the community. We canâ€™t wait for businesses to figure it out on their own. The call to action was a good one, but it seemed to leave some audience members scratching their heads. One audience member asked, “How do we do that?”
A few interesting figures she mentioned:
- 1/3 of all developers believe that software should be free
- Average number of open source projects a developer works on: 5
- 40% of open source developers are paid to contribute
- 10-20% are paid but their bosses donâ€™t know it – that probably was a joke 😉
One quote that stuck with me was: â€œTypically people have been divided between left and right brain [professions].â€ I donâ€™t agree. I think you only have to look briefly at the history of science to see that creativity (â€œright brainâ€) and reason (â€œleft brainâ€) have often gone together.
The developer community just like many others – regular people who want to be useful, and inspired by their work. Creativity may not be asked for in a person’s work. But people invent, dream and create regardless of whether their profession requires it.