An open source developer is someone who contributes to open source software. open source software is free computer software that is made available along with its code and made available under license to use, modify and/or to distribute the software.
Contributing to open source gives developers practice collaborating with other developers and working with legacy code. These are the two most important skills for a modern developer in my opinion. there is a good article on Becoming an open source developer.
Most open source projects usually have at least a couple of issues on them with varying levels of difficulty. Users will often leave critical feedback and bugs they encounter, also requests might be made for features that are either specifically tailored to a particular solution or novel to the main goal of the software.
Open source Developers usually fix these issues by contributing time, skill, and code. Open source skills are lucrative, and in high demand, with 87% of open source developers crediting their expertise and continual learning of new apps, languages, and tools as the reason they are advancing in their careers.
Open source enables programmers to:
- Develop co-operative soft skills
- Maintain a portfolio of active projects to showcase to clients and employers
- Work with legacy code maintained as open source
- Use open source code to generate revenue
- Team building is a critical skill in today's world of remote opportunities.
These are a few reasons you might consider as perks of being an open source developer. there is also the freedom of working on what you love, instead of been assigned tasks, that you would normally avoid. most companies nowadays are trying to avoid a toxic culture mentality and incorporate many open source liberties to their conventional practices.
There aren't many differences between Normie Devs and Open Devs, just as there aren't many differences between working independently remotely and working for a company in an office.
there are a few differences which might be perks to some and are absolutely not compatible with others. for example, some people prefer a work environment where they can dive in and be absolutely focused on their tasks till lunch break, while I personally prefer to get emoji themed questions on slack from colleagues even after office hours.
Most companies already embrace and use open source software and practices in varying degrees, even if you don't identify as a open source developer, you are already contributing to open source if you leave feedback in a particular software's community.
As a developer what open source software do you regularly contribute to? it doesn't matter whether your contribution is technical, or otherwise, let me know via the comments.