[openskills-dev] [Fwd: Re: [SLUG] NSW Tender meeting]

Robert Brockway rbrockway at opentrend.net
Thu Oct 7 04:05:16 BST 2004

Hi Taryn.  I'm not involved in OpenSkills at all.  I'm on this list out of
interest so I hope you take my comments as those of a non-partisan person
who has been around FLOSS (Free, Libre and Open Source) for about 10

Taryn wrote:

> I guess this is all dependant on the fact that I am just an
> individual... if I were a company, $20 isn't as much...
> but I'm not - I'm just a person.

I don't see $20 as much for an individual.  Almost all clubs have
membership fees of this level of greater.

I'm an Aussie living and working overseas (I am part owner in an IT
consulting firm).  I am interested in what the OpenSkills people are

> I guess I just don't know where the money goes and why it's the person

Can't comment.

> offering their skills that pays it - most "job placement" places (which
> admittedly this isn't necessarily a job placement, but at first glance
> could be viewed in a similar way) don't do - these days it's
> employer-pays...

True, and well it should be too.

> As I say - I think that openskills isn't a job-placement place - but I
> don't think there's adequate explanation of what else it is... it reads
> somewhat like it.

I originally joined this list as I thought it might be a great place to
pickup some consulting and find the right people to subcontract too as

> though there's not enough to explain how it's different...  I don't even
> know, for example, whether people that register wil get paid for what
> they do (it's non-profit... does that mean people work for free? or does
> that just mean that you operate at-cost?... I'd guess the latter, but I
> have to actually guess as I don't think it's spelled out anywhere)

All operations have a cost.  The web server has to be housed somewhere.
Either OpenSkills bears the cost or someone does it on their behalf.

> I guess there's the fact that, well, a lot of people seem to develop
> open source stuff for free... so my immediate question is:

They sure do.

> why would I pay money to advertise skills that I would be giving out
> free?

Don't make the mistake of assuming that no money can be made from Open
Source.  This is one of the biggest misconceptions open source keeps
coming up against (along with rubbish about open source not being

If you have the right skills someone needs they will pay you to use them.
Studies I've read recently indicate 80%-90% of all software is developed
in house and never released at all.  A great deal of that is now done
using Open Source tools.

I've been living off my open source skills for years.  There are plenty of
opportunities to make money.  I suspect there are many we are yet to think

I still give time away for free in support of OSS.  This is because I love
it and I think it is worth while.

> Maybe I've simply got the wrong impression as I'm still new to this
> community...

It is quite altruistic but in the end we all have to eat so we do want to
find ways to use this superior open source software to earn a living.


Robert Brockway B.Sc.
Senior Technical Consultant, OpenTrend Solutions Ltd.
Phone: 416-669-3073, Email: rbrockway at opentrend.net, http://www.opentrend.net
OpenTrend Solutions: Reliable, secure solutions to real world problems.

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