A number of people have asked about my "Would you do it again for free?" presentation. It's a talk about why open source developers started working on open source software and how money and companies have changed that.
One of the things about the open source community that continues to
baffle those non-open source people is, "why do you do it?" Open
source developers work on open source software for a number of reasons
from scratching an itch to gaining a reputation to building a resume to
contributing to a good cause. The interesting problem comes when money
enters into the equation. Research shows that when someone works on something for free (for
internal rewards) if you start paying them you replace those internal
rewards. Then if you stop paying them, they will stop working on it.
Does that hold true for open source software? Are commercial companies
killing open source by paying people to work on it?
You can find the talk in ogg format. (Note the file is about 100MB!) You can also get the audio and the slides. If you know how to convert from ogg to something I can embed in a blog post, please let me know!
I gave this talk again at SCALE and there I added more of "here's why developers work on open source software and here's what they can do to help companies work with them effectively."