When I mention that I contribute to free/open source projects, and that I do it for free, the question that I invariably hear is If you’re doing it for free, then what do you get out of it?
That’s the wrong question. Why? Because I’ve already gotten something from the projects that I support. That might be the software I’m using, a community I can turn to for help or take part in, or ideas that intrigue me.
Admittedly, I don’t contribute as much as I want to or think I should. But I try to do as much as I can, not matter how little that actually is.
Whether it’s writing in this space, crafting the occasional bit of documentation, advocating certain projects, writing articles, being a (former) Correspondent at Opensource.com, or making a small donation, I’m trying to give something back.
I’m trying to share software and ideas that I appreciate.
I’m trying to spread my enthusiasm for FLOSS.
I’m trying to make more people aware of alternatives to commercial software.
I’m trying to teach and to learn.
Are these efforts reaching anyone? I’m not sure, though I hope they are. Regardless, that doesn’t mean I’ll stop trying.