The developer’s dilemma

Selling code

Selling time

Selling access

  • Charge for prioritization: If you manage an open source project that I use, then I might pay you to respond to my bug report, my email, or to have 1:1 office hours with you. I think developers shy away from this because it seems wrong somehow, but the definition of open source says nothing about how it gets produced, only how it is distributed.
  • Charge for knowledge: Much like a musician appearing in concert 😉 I’ve seen some open source developers host workshops (ex. or teach online courses (ex.
  • Charge for brand: Patreon is an obvious example. Also, some companies retain employees that they consider beneficial for their ties to certain open source communities. I wonder whether this might become more popular over time: almost more like a brand sponsorship than employment. A similar example might be the string of targeted hires that Microsoft recently made, which undoubtedly boosts their brand.




Not using this to write anymore. Writing is over here:

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

SSH authentication between GitHub and Jenkins

Strapi Support: Most frequently asked questions on the website

TR-398: Baseline Performance Tests

Five Keys to Creating an Effective Training Plan

Working with GameObjects in Unity

Change detection culprits — mouse enter and leave

Simplify AWS Lambda deployment by using a CloudFormation Template

AWS Lambda CloudFormation Easy Button

What I learned Mar 29th — Apr 4th

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Nadia Eghbal

Nadia Eghbal

Not using this to write anymore. Writing is over here:

More from Medium

A Love Letter to Debugger from a Software Engineer in Training

My experience of being a self-taught software developer

Pair Programming: Does it work?

Bug hunting: Chance or Chore?