Re: Kiss and say goodbye to Microsoft!!

From: Mark H. Wood (mwood@mhw.ULib.IUPUI.Edu)
Date: 02/18/02

From: "Mark H. Wood" <mwood@mhw.ULib.IUPUI.Edu>
Date: 18 Feb 2002 14:28:23 GMT

In Thomas F. Divine <> wrote:
> Just a quick question about free software...
> I'm a software developer.
> How does one make money (as a software developer) if software is free?
> I don't think I could make it up in volume... :-).
> Seriously. How would someone make money as a software developer if software
> is to be free?

Some accept contributions rather than demanding payment. The Free
Software Foundation works that way. However the more typical way
these days is to give the software away and sell service. (I believe
that Red Hat makes a lot of its money this way.) Some "customers"
will just take the product and run, but many would rather pay someone
else to think about the hard questions for them. Just because anybody
*could* read the source and figure stuff out for himself doesn't mean
that everybody will, or is competent to do so. Lots of businesses
would rather pay you by the hour for casual help, than hire and train
an in-house expert.

Also, keep it in mind that some developers of free software never
intend to make money on it. For various reasons they don't get enough
challenge at work (or at school), so their excess talent gets poured
into art for art's sake. That doesn't address your question but it may
help you make sense of the market.

Mark H. Wood, Lead System Programmer   mwood@IUPUI.Edu
Our lives are forever changed.  But *that* is exactly as it always was.