Open source: intro, jobs, and business models

There are a bunch of topics I want to cover relating to open source in general, open source jobs, and business models based on open source, but I don’t have time to write about all of them now so I’m writing down the topics for your benefit (so you know what sorts of posts are coming up) and mine (so I don’t forget what I was going to write about).

I believe open source software improves the world as a whole, which is why I’m talking about it here. I’ll be expanding on my reasons in a future post. If you’re not familiar with open source, see Wikipedia. If I find a more concise page (and I’m sure one exists), I’ll add it. If you know of one, please add it in a comment.

The term “open sources jobs” is generally used to refer to jobs where open source software is used, but not necessarily written. From what I’ve seen in my web browsings, there appear to be three main categories:

  • Consulting – providing solutions that use open source software to companies (ie. a cluster of Linux servers for computationally-intensive tasks)
  • Training – showing people how to use or write open source software
  • Programming – writing open source software

Many businesses have been built around open source software. Notable examples of such projects include MySQL, SpamAssassin, and IBM’s Eclipse. These businesses use several different models to arrive at profitability, which I’ll discuss in future posts.

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