[OSGeo-Discuss] Your open source career

Randy George rkgeorge at cadmaps.com
Thu Apr 24 13:35:43 PDT 2008

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.osgeo.org
[mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.osgeo.org] On Behalf Of Landon Blake
Sent: Thursday, April 24, 2008 12:57 PM
To: OSGeo Discussions
Subject: RE: [OSGeo-Discuss] Your open source career


You know I can't pass up an opportunity to talk about myself. :] I don't
have much time because of an impending Friday deadline, but I will share
a couple of thoughts with you. I could share more next week if you want.

>From my personal experience, skills as an open source programming can
give employees a definite advantage in their career, especially in two
types of organizations. 

The first type of organization is a small organization that can't afford
the cost of proprietary software. This can be a huge cost, especially
for software that is geared towards specialized professions, and not the
mass of typical computer users. Employees with an open source skill set
can offer solutions to this type of organization that wouldn't otherwise
be possible. For example, we are able to use an enterprise database
system and GIS software at my surveying and engineering company that are
open source because of the skill set that a coworker and I have
acquired, largely on our own time. This isn't software that my company
would have purchased from a commercial vendor.

The second type of organization is one in which a specialized trade or
profession is practiced. These organizations are often not served by the
"out-of-the-box" software that is suitable for more generic types of
businesses. Any type of programming skills, including open source
programming skills, enables an employee to develop custom solutions that
assist their organization. These applications are generally better
suited to the specialized tasks because they are written by an
individual with a unique knowledge of the "problem domain". This is not
typically something you get from software developed by a third party.
For example, I'm in the process of developing a tool that will process
thousands of points collected during the course of a bathymetric survey,
something we currently do in a spreadsheet. The tool, when completed,
could save my company several man hours and hundreds of dollars on every
bathymetric survey we perform.


-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.osgeo.org
[mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.osgeo.org] On Behalf Of Tyler Mitchell
Sent: Thursday, April 24, 2008 11:12 AM
To: OSGeo Discussions
Subject: [OSGeo-Discuss] Your open source career

Hi everyone,
We've probably all heard of the typical business models for open  
source companies, but I'm working on a few slides for a presentation  
that highlight the benefit of open source for employees - and would  
love to hear from some of you.

I have some personal examples where open source made me a more  
valuable employee, and how other colleagues who were into open source  
were considered invaluable.  I also believe the many employers who  
value open source are able to attract talented staff that  
"traditional" or "proprietary" employers cannot.

Do you have a story about how embracing open source geospatial  
applications helped broaden the opportunities for your future or  
helped you bust out of a mundane box?  Maybe you learned on your own  
time and brought your new skills into the office?  I'm particularly  
interested in your personal stories about how open source may have  
motivated you to grow, learn and extend your career or professional  
set of tools.

Anyone want to share?

Best wishes,
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