motto lotto

Thursday, May 29, 2008

who writes free software?

If you're a FOSS contributor, you're about 30 y.o. almost exclusively male (sic) from North America or Western Europe, with 12 years of programming experience and spending about 10h/week on 2 or 3 FLOSS projects. You feel strongly that the hacker community is the primary source of your identity.

* You're either self-taught (40%) of have been formally IT trained (51%).
* There are good chances (40%) that you're paid while contributing.
* Your primary motivation lies in your ability to express your creativity
* You belong to one of the following 4 clusters (names are MTG's not that of the study), identified along your secondary motivations.

[ 25% ] The Professional: (86% are paid) You need FLOSS for work-related issues
[ 27% ] The Hobbyist: You need FLOSS for non-work related issues
[ 29% ] The Intellectual: You like to improve your skills and need/like intellectual stimulations
[ 19% ] The Altruist: You like to give to the community and believe code should be free/open

Contrary to the mainstream sociological belief, extrinsic rewards (money) does not decrease your intrinsic motivation (here your feeling of creativity).

Why Hackers FLOSS
These criteria sound a little too familiar. The most interesting thing to me is "you feel strongly that the hacker community is the primary source of your identity".

Here's the longer paper the above post was summarizing-- Why hackers do what they do: Understanding Motivation and Effort in Free/Open Source Software projects

I'll have to read the whole essay when I get a chance.

No comments: