Give back to the community
In our latest client project, we make use of at least 20 open source projects, from our beloved Rails, to great testing frameworks like RSpec, to plugins like Paperclip, to server-side software like Passenger, and many more. While we are appreciative of the hard work that goes into creating those projects for the first 2 seconds after we find them, we often take these libraries for granted.
As a small development company, we need any advantage we can get. It is the vibrant open source ecosystem that gives us a competitive advantage against the big guns. And not only do we benefit from the work of the community, our clients get more sophisticated software that costs less. Everyone wins.
Every project we get paid to write makes extensive use of open source software. We try to do our part to contribute back to the community, but our contributions definitely aren’t worth what we get out of the community. So we’ve come up with an idea…
At Collective Idea, any time we use an open source library in a project, we’re going to make a $10 donation on behalf of our client to that project. For our client, the cost is small: a couple hundred dollars in exchange for thousands of dollars worth of savings and better software.
We encourage you to do the same.
If you maintain a project on GitHub, do yourself a favor and make it easier for us to donate. GitHub lets you add your PayPal account to the project so all we have to do is click a button.