COSS companies leverage capital efficiently for many reasons. First, consider the people who write OSS. Today, even though OSS is heavily underwritten by industry (large tech companies, but also any company employing software engineers at large), an OSS project is still usually the brainchild of an individual or small team who came up with the idea on their own and had no top-down direction to create it. So, the roots of most projects are still in the garage. That means the labor to make the initial development sprint is usually a volunteer effort. This can play out in different ways. Perhaps an engineer starts a side project while employed doing something else. Perhaps an engineer expends time during slow periods, or while between jobs, to create a resume trail, network, or prepare for the next opportunity. The cost here is the engineer’s sweat equity — definitely not a zero cost. But it is, undeniably, an efficient cost. No expensive office lease, no free lunches, no swag. Just work.
In fact, most of the jobs that could be automated were automated a long time ago. Most of the jobs that are left can’t be automated — like yoga teachers and waiters. In fact, we should be more concerned that we will be stuck with low productivity for the foreseeable future.
You’ll notice how the description of the coding exercise involves “grading”, but not “feedback”. If your coding exercise fails to meet the grade, what happens next? How many hours is an inexperienced programmer expected to spend sending in exercises with no response to dozens of big companies?