Open Logic building freelance bug-fixing market

Open Logic building freelance bug-fixing market

Summary: It's so exciting to see the birth of a new business model. Especially when it's mine.

TOPICS: Open Source

Attention Open Source programmers!

How would you like to enter the exciting and fun world of per-piece freelance writing? How would you like to enter my world, and make less money than you ever dreamed possible?

Well, now you can.

Open Logic has launched a program assigning trouble tickets to freelance programmers supporting up to 150 different open source projects. It's part of their Consolidated Enterprise Support Expert Community program. NOTE: The name originally given here was a description of the program.

VP-marketing Mark Winz Kim Weins explained how it works. "These 150 projects are certified, integrated, and configured. Once the issues come in we take the call, understand what it is, and sort out where the problem is." The needed fixes are then posted, and you get to do the work.

Open Logic  layers a management application, automating the installation and integration, on as many projects as an enterprise needs. Support is layered on top of that application, and sold under annual contracts.

"We’re paying like $100 on an issue that can take 5 minutes" for an experienced committer to deal with, said director of product management Stormy Peters. "They can sign up for as many issues as they want."

The original program was cash-only, Winz Weins added, but that has been changed to points, at the insistance of the community. Each point is worth $1, but you can get that money in kind, or get it as a donation to your favorite charity. (Yes, you can also take cash.) Trouble is, if you take $600 in cash during a year Open Logic has to file a 1099 form on you with the IRS, not to mention collect a W-2.

This has caused some concern. Raven Zachary and Ian Holsoman Ian Holsman are among the writers who have complained. I know this because Open Logic sent me links to both their pieces, which I find very admirable.

In fact there are many programmers who might prefer not to be paid cash. People on government disability might lose their status if they took the money, for instance. "Stormy talked to people and some said, they didn’t want to be paid cash, they wanted money donated somewhere or they wanted something like an Xbox," said Winz  Weins.

So you can have cash, or a donation, or what's behind door number three. Fair enough. Oh, and if you're in another country they will convert that to local currency for you.

It's so exciting to see the birth of a new business model. Especially when it's mine.

NOTE: Weins is new at the job and I made the mistake of double-checking the Web site for a spelling after our interview. The site had not been updated to reflect the new hire. I also must apologize to Ian Holsman for getting that extra "o" in his name.

Such errors in code would doubtless crash programs. English is more forgiving than Perl.

Topic: Open Source

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  • Not a complaint

    Hi Dana - thanks for the reference in your blog entry. I wouldn't
    characterize my piece as a complaint. I'm mostly reporting the
    announcement and linking off to other pieces. I am supportive of
    the idea.
    Raven Zachary
  • Interesting concept.

    I would think for this to work there needs to be a "quality of work" reputation factor built in to the equation. Turn in enough sloppy fixes and you can't get any more work. Maybe even a premium for fixes from those who have proven they do the best work.

    On the other side of the coin, I think there is a similar kind of opportunity that could be tried with open source software. I'd like to see a sort of market for those who want specific fixes/enhancements to bid on having them fixed. So, instead of a blanket donation to Open Office, you could target your donation to say faster load times (Ou would really appreciate this!).