We’re all leveraging open-source codes in one way or another. Let’s face it - tweaking and embedding ready-made solutions from Github or other public repositories rather than making them from scratch is a huge time (and money) saver. Actually, according to a report on global open source software development made by Sonatype in 2019., as of 2018., developers had access (on average) to more than 21,448 new open source component releases every day. In another report done by Red Hat, 75 percent of the 950 IT leaders interviewed worldwide State of Enterprise Open Source Report said that enterprise open source was very or extremely important.
Needless to say, the demand for open-source components is soaring, yet you use these solutions without paying for them - meaning someone is building and maintaining components of the products you develop free of charge.
This post won’t be focusing on the hard facts and stats about open-source culture, but on the 5 simple reasons why you should sponsor its contributors and creators.
#1 Reward the problem solver
The first one is kinda obvious, though technically - if something is available free of charge there’s no obligation on your side to pay for it. On the other hand, it’s something you should do just because it feels right, especially if you frequently use or depend on open source projects. It’s not about the amount, but about the kind act of support that often means the world to the person you’re sponsoring. There are platforms like Github Sponsors, Open Collective, or Snowdrift. Pick your problem solver and help them out.
#2 Open-source developers encourage new solutions and drive improvements
Most of the open-source creators make codes for free because problem-solving is something they enjoy. Sadly free isn’t sustainable. Making open source solutions in your free time as a side hustle isn’t a winning race. Some developers like Caleb Porzio launched their own sponsorships. It was a rocky road changing income streams from a stable full-time job to a donation dependent sponsorship, but now Caleb is able to further develop his solutions and work freely on problems that matter - all thanks to the support of the community and of course his sponsors.
#3 Awesome perks
Sponsorship isn’t the same as a crowdfunding campaign, but that’s no reason why it should lack exciting and awesome perks. There’s a lot of ways of saying ‘thank you’, in their sponsorships, developers usually include cool perks (or sponsorship tiers) like their services, early access to their products, consulting, etc. As far as the perks go there’s no general rule of the thumb. In an ongoing Github sponsorship, a Viennese music tech company offers branded company merch, exclusive screencasts, developer support, early access to the new features of their music sheet display repository, and even postcards from Vienna - personality signed and sent by the team.
#4 Sense of giving back to the community
Give and you shall receive, and giving up so little means so much. However small, these generous donations enable developers to continue their work and enrich the public repositories with their solutions to coding problems. Your small donation is someone’s monthly rent, food, monthly bills, or a morning cup of coffee. Considering that most of the commercial software is built with open-source components, it only seems fair to give back to the community.
#5 Setting an example for support
Seeing that a project is backed by many sponsors leaves tangible social proof and sheds light on its importance. By sponsoring open source projects you’re setting an example for others to follow. You’re also pumping wind in the sails of your favorite project’s further improvement.
If you want to support Phonic Score’s latest project - the Open Sheet Music Player and gain access to the perks we’ve prepared - check out our sponsorship page. Any help in getting the word out is much appreciated, feel free to share the news with other music tech or open-source enthusiasts. You can try out the Music Sheet Display demo here or check out the video on Youtube on how to get started with OSMD. If you have any questions or would like to share your opinions and suggestions on the further development of our products write to us at [email protected] or add an issue in our repository. For general check-ins and getting in touch with me write to [email protected]. Also published on Hashnode.