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Jul 29, 2012, 03:45 AM
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Open source vs. top secret

Because of the lack of jobs, the Marcy class aircraft have tended to shift more towards a product than an open source hobby.

15 years of doing 1 open source project or another have never yielded any career benefits from the open source aspect of it. They might care about the final product or the experience from developing it, but no-one ever offered a job because the source code was free & no-one who copied my source code to advance their job ever offered a pat on the back.

Part of the problem is it takes a lot more support than development for the open source aspect to gain enough popularity that it enhances your career. You have to be more of an organizer & the development has to be more in line with what the masses look for in other products right now, not a science project. Compromises like a 4Hz update when you'd like 30Hz or a clunky touch screen interface when you'd like a bulletproof tactile interface have to be accepted, because the platform has to be what the masses want right now.

In open source RC projects more than web servers, the developers tend to have jobs other than programming. They're competent enough at programming to make a career out of it, yet they're not offered jobs & they don't seem to seek any.

What seems to be happening is people who work on web servers are interested in software for its own sake. People who work on RC projects are using software as a tool to solve another problem that they're more interested in. The economy is based on very specialized roles, performing exactly 1 task for their entire life. Programmers are supposed to write software for their entire life, without regard to the application.

If technology is allowing 1 person to do the work that required 3, years ago, shouldn't jobs become less specialized? Business leaders are all saying no & continuing to just hire specialists. Programmers are just supposed to program, because the amount of skill required to be competitive requires committing your full attention to just 1 thing.

The maker revolution seems to depend on the opposite, because you don't have the budget to hire a full time, lifetime specialist in Ruby on Rails. Money is made by generalists who fabricate, program, & solder, while the specialized work of perfecting the tools is unpaid.

Exactly which model is right is unknown. We only know that business leaders using the traditional model continue to dominate the economy & the economy hasn't produced more than it has consumed in many years.
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