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Free Can Mean Big Money - The Open Source Economy

Meat Blaster Way I see it... (494 comments)

It's shifting the temporary power that has been achieved by the individual programmer (low cost of investment, high rate of return) back to the corporation.

Think about it. Where once a whole slew of programmers might have been hired to work on an inventory or billing system, for example, now a fraction can be hired to tweak what the rest have been producing for free.

One could hardly call this anything other than neocapitalism. Under the guise of not reinventing the wheel (a process which actually contributes innovation by demonstrating multiple ways of reaching the same goal, some better than others) businesses are able to make their programming dollar go further at the expense of the programmer.

While it is indeed possible for programmers to wait tables in their spare time, I would like to suggest that waiters do not need to invest 4+ years of schooling in their vocation. At some point this must be recouped or the quality and availability of programmers will decline.

Unfortunately, both the hacker mindset and the CEO mindset are currently geared towards the concept of free software -- the hacker for the love of the code and the CEO for the love of free code -- and damned be the concepts of effective software engineering, security principles, or a day's pay for a day's work.

about 10 years ago

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