OSS / Linux Development Survey Volume I, 2010

18 Nov 2010 • by Natalie Aster

Santa Cruz, CA - The motivation to create open source projects is rarely money. More often than not it is a labor of love, a show of programming prowess, an effort to contribute to the open source community, or merely a necessity in completing another project. But that is not to say that all developers fail to earn income for their efforts.

The report “OSS / Linux Development Survey Volume I, 2010 ” by Evans Data Corporation includes language usage, client and server side development, licensing and distribution models, Linux development tools, and Linux and Open Source applications currently being written.

While 65% of developers reap under $100 for their open source projects, 4% net over $100,000 annually. Between these two earnings extremes lies a sprinkling of middlegrounders. Five percent of developers earn more than $1000, but not over $5000 for their products, while 7% earn between $10,001 and $50,000.

Report Details:

OSS / Linux Development Survey Volume I, 2010

Published: May 2010
Pages: 135
Price: USD 10,500

Report Sample Abstract:

Time Spent at Work on Non-Work Related Open Source Projects

Developers tend to be excellent multi-taskers as they are fully capable of working on more than one project at a time. Because the majority of developers work on open source projects both at home and work, they can easily rationalize using ‘work time’ to work on personal projects and vice versa. It’s easy to pull off “non-job related work” at work because supervisors see developers writing and rarely look to see what they are writing.

Not that it matters really, because sometimes the developer is merely taking extra steps to fix a bug or enhance a module that ultimately will aid the employer’s goal as much as the developer’s private goal.

Through this bizarre mix of projects created across office-and home boundaries, the work does get done in the end – the only question is which project gets done. Sixteen percent of developers spend more than half their time at work on non-work projects while 33% swear they never stray from the work assigned by their employer.

Primary Reason for Developing Proprietary Software

Most open source developers are not purists; they also develop proprietary software. The decision to use proprietary code over open source is most often made because developers feel proprietary software better meets requirements (29%). The need to generate revenue (28%) is a close second in developer preference of proprietary over open source. Only 17% of developers’ choice to produce proprietary software is governed by corporate policy.

Legacy systems continue to fade away as users and corporations alike turn to software-on-the-shelf, software-as-a-service, or free open source alternatives. Therefore, only 9% of developers are developing proprietary software to maintain existing proprietary software.

More information can be found in the report “OSS / Linux Development Survey Volume I, 2010 ” by Evans Data Corporation .

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