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Not sure if I asked this at the right place (it's development related). It would be great if you can direct me to the right place if I did ask in the wrong place.

I was encouraged by hosts during some company tours to participate in the open-source software community if interested in software. The reasons include showing initiative to contribute useful components to a project while others can evaluate the quality of your design and coding practices. However, other than case studies of CUSP being bought out by Apple Inc., I can't think of other case studies showing the trend of interesting opportunities being attracted over the long term.

Do you have any high-profile projects fitting this criteria that comes to your mind? Appreciate it in advance for your suggestions!

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4 Answers

Networking is a large part of the open source community. You'll meet people that you can count on for advice, and for help. More importantly networking equals job opportunities. As with most professions, it's not what you know, but who you know. I make a pretty good living as a programmer, and it all started with a couple open source projects that I started and contributed to.

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which projects were these if you don't mind me asking? –  sashang Dec 8 '10 at 23:36
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I know at least one excellent programmer who got hired explicitly because of his work on an open source project.

If you do excellent work on a project that ends up being integrated in an open source product produced by e.g. Redhat it could happen to you too.

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It's been my experience that low-profile open-source projects can also lead to opportunities, so pick a project that interests you and don't worry about who may be watching.

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I can say that in my personal experience, that nothing comes close to open source development for technical career development - particularly if you hold leadership positions in projects.

I founded the Linux-HA project (morphed to Pacemaker) and it led to good jobs, good money, speaking at conferences, and ultimately, funding for a company I've founded (based on another open source project I founded -- http://assimproj.org).

The key is that people can see what you've done, and can evaluate you and your working style. Of course, if you're a pain to deal with - that will also show up in mailing lists and so on.

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good answer, and excellent reference of your expertise in providing the answer. –  GlenH7 Aug 9 '13 at 19:17
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