Subject: Re: Open source vs. Closed Source salaries?
Date: Tue, 19 Dec 2000 11:38:40 -0800
Tue, 19 Dec 2000 11:38:40 -0800
on Tue, Dec 19, 2000 at 01:28:28PM -0700, Chris Rasch ( wrote:
> Frank Hecker wrote:
> > Chris Rasch wrote:
> > > How do the salaries of open source software developers compare to the
> > > salaries of closed source developers?
> >
> > I think this depends more upon the type of organization the programmer
> > is working for than on the type of software being developed. For
> > example, I'm sure that developers working at Netscape on the Mozilla
> > software are paid the same as they were when the Mozilla code was
> > proprietary.
> >
> > I suspect the relevant differences are rather between for-profit
> > organizations and non-profit organizations (including academia), between
> > IT vendors developing software for external distribution and use and
> > non-IT companies developing software for internal use only, and between
> > companies in different vertical markets and geographic areas.
> >
> Thanks for your response.  I agree with what you're saying.  I was
> motivated to ask the question by Stig Hackvan's January 1999 Linuxworld
> article, Where did Spencer Kimball and Peter Mattis go? (Available at
>  It's an
> interview with the creators of the GIMP, neither of whom now work on open
> source software.
> Hackvan suggests that talented programmers leave the open source community
> because there are more well paying jobs in the closed source world than in
> the open source community.  To what extent do you think this happens?  The
> Datamation survey suggests that there are plenty of well-paying jobs for
> those skilled using open source tools.
> Perhaps a more relevant question might be--how often do developers of open
> source software (as opposed to individuals who use the software) leave the
> open source community?

Long-standing religious issue with Stig.  While he's got a point, and
ideologically pure free SW development may incure a wage penalty (as
does ideological purity in most arenas), opportunities to work on and
with free SW tools are eminantly well compensated at present.

I'd suggest a better approach would be to survey key developers in
leading free SW projects -- Linux kernel, Apache, Perl, Eazel, Zelerate
<g>, as well as contract rates through major job boards (Monster, DICE, calling for FS tools.

Karsten M. Self <>
 Evangelist, Zelerate, Inc.            
  What part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?      There is no K5 cabal

["application/pgp-signature" not shown]