contributing

Are freeloaders helpful or hurtful to open source communities?

FOSS contributors

Concerns are raised every once in a while in the broader free and open source software community about freeloaders. The attitude expressed is that if you're getting the benefit of FOSS, you should contribute. Building a business on a FOSS project you don't own, whether you're providing a service or product around a FOSS project should in return garner some sort of quid pro quo. In reality, freeloaders are desirable.

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Make it easy to contribute by making the software easy to test

testing software

Question: How do you get more developers to contribute to a free and open source software project? Contribution is the lifeblood of a FOSS community  Without contributions the community can’t grow beyond the initial project founders. People don’t just show up ready to work. They very likely start as users, even of the fledgling software before it really starts to take shape as the robust solution it could become.

Let’s approach the question of getting more developers involved as "software engineers" instead of as "community organizers" by asking a different question: Why do we use software versioning a.k.a. software configuration management tools?

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