14th December 2016

10 reasons why businesses should pay developers to contribute to open source software

John Ennew
Technical Director

At Deeson, we offer paid time to contribute to open source software. We do it because we believe it's the right thing to do but we also see huge benefits. Here, we outline the benefits of companies (both big and small) switching to an open source way of thinking.

1. It shows they’re innovative

Reputable tech companies will have some involvement in open source development. Large companies such as Google and Facebook have open sourced very large, significant parts of their platforms. Companies engaged with open source technology earn respect, but even more so if they pay for the work their developers contribute.

2. They’ll attract quality fellow developers

Many of the best developers love open source. There are major benefits from contributing to open source in terms of experience and skills development, and any business that offers financial benefits to do that is a major draw. For many developers, it feels great to make coding a group endeavour - with open source it feels great to contribute and feel the direct impact of what you do.

3. It can inspire passion

Many developers are passionate about what they do, and even spend time coding out of office hours, working on open source initiatives which could well grow to benefit your business. Using open source can help a company save time and money, and at the same time help a developer build an increasing network of friends and connections.

4. It can lead to increased happiness

Contribution to open source is a source of pride, in which developers will be happy to talk about their achievements. They will feel a real sense of worth working with an agency that provides time, resources and even money to work on these projects. Many developers are driven to believe that there’s a better way to do things, and open source gives them an outlet.

5. Developers are supported by an enthusiastic community

The open source community is a fantastic one to be part of. It’s inclusive and highly motivated, and it can be easy to find somebody to get help from and to provide support. Events are also popular - in the Drupal community for example, DrupalCon Europe is a great gathering of developers to be part of.

6. Developers can influence projects

Obviously anybody can use open source code, whether they contribute to it or not. However if a developer does spend time contributing, their voice will be heard when it comes to directions a project needs to go. Often they can simply work on a project themselves and add the feature they want.

7. They can forge relationships with other open source companies

Successful business shouldn’t be all about competition. Open source can provide an effective communication channel between companies, and even offers an opportunity to different businesses to work on innovative projects together for the benefit of all. It’s a great way for developers from different organisations to cooperate.

8. They can use open source more effectively

Many organisations don’t take advantage of the quality open source code available out there because they don’t have the processes and policies in place to make full use of it. Businesses that actively contribute to the open source ecosystem are naturally more comfortable using open source for the benefit of clients.

9. You’ll train up and be able to hire open source experts

Any developer involved with developing code for open source projects will naturally become experts. Also, new developers moving to a business that have been working on relevant open source projects may be familiar and even expert users with the technology. This makes the onboarding process much easier.

10. It’s idealistic

Many developers view open source software as idealistic - a way to effect real-world positive change with technology. Many believe in the concept of digital rights being a human right - a responsibility to enable others to enjoy the benefits of open source technology, such as freedom, privacy and security.

Deeson works with open source technologies like Drupal, WordPress and Laravel. Here are details of the open source projects we're involved with. Also, find out more about our job opportunities.