Making money with Open Source as a developer?
I've been hearing recently that more and more developers contribute their efforts to many open-source products. Being a novice in many aspects of software development I've never thought about myself as being a member of a team that builds a product almost anybody can use for free.
But this trend is getting more and more attention, and today it is almost considered that any self-respected software engineer should have at least one example when they participated in an open-source project. It gives you a few more credits on the interview, it's cool, it means something very good, especially if the product is popular and successful. However, it seems that it's not just cool, but somehow it is prosperous business today. Not just some students or passionate enthusiasts anymore, but well known developers quit their jobs and start spending most of their time in that sector, proprietary companies spend good amount of money to support them.
I understand there are many different types of licensing and stuff. But I simply don't understand, how those developers get paid? How the companies make their revenue of it? I don't believe that behind all that is just people's altruistic nature, and they just happy to work for virtually nothing.
Can you explain me taking any well known project as an example, the business model of it?
How can somebody participate? What should you know first? How can you monetize your efforts? Is there any "guide to beginners" or "complete manual for idiots" to start with?