Observation on hiring from open source

A novice climbed the mountain and asked the guru for advice. The guru said, “when I hire, I want to know you’re a good developer. I am much more likely to hire you if I can see public commits in an open source repository. I love to hire open source developers and recommend you do it too.”

Save 20%The novice nodded and asked, “what about using open source software?”. The guru replied, “we love open source software. It helps us to be nimble, and we can build out quickly without crippling license fees. Most importantly, we can change it to do what we need.”

The novice thanked the guru and asked, “what about releasing open source software?”. The guru said, “Feed back patches when you have to, so you don’t have to maintain a parallel version, but don’t release your tools as open source. You don’t have time to spend fielding questions and lousy contributions from outside the company.”

The novice frowned. “So you hire open source developers, you consume open source software, but you don’t produce any yourself?” The guru nodded, sagely.

“But isn’t that—“. The guru hit him with a copy of “The Wealth of Nations”, and the novice was enlightened.