Home > Linux > Exposed: The Linux Developer’s Lifestyle Exposed: The Linux Developer’s Lifestyle Eugenia Loli 2002-08-23 Linux 14 Comments Are open-source developers all sandal-wearing geeks? A new survey reveals a detailed picture of free software developers’ motivations and expectations–and even their personal lives. Read the research’s results over at ZDNews. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 14 Comments 2002-08-23 6:08 pm Figures may be right analysis wrong. Open Source devs are mostly geeky as confirmed by figures 2002-08-23 6:34 pm Most open source developers don’t seem to belive usage numbers for things like linux, will they belive these numbers very much? I wish the page had nice charts and graphs for each of the questions or at least listed the questions. I would like to see the coralation to those living at home and time spent on projects. This could give a better picture of how or why the time spent is what it is. Those with less commitments have more time so them working more isn’t the same as a 9-5 family man working the same. Seeing the young population this could be high and scary. 2002-08-23 7:53 pm It’s easy… Wake up late. Smoke a lot. Drink a lot on weekends. Stay up way too late. Piss off Eugenia on OSNews by posting “outside the box”. Read Slashdot’s headlines in order to feel part of a community. And that’s basically it… Throw a little beef jerkey, some online porn, and a lot of Pepsico products, and you’ve got an OSS coders life in a nicely condensed form. 8)= 2002-08-23 8:35 pm he heh, sounds like fun 2002-08-23 9:12 pm “The authors concluded, however, that the majority of developers take open-source development “very seriously,” investing more than two hours a week in it.” “More than two hours a week” is what these guys consider very seriously? LOL. Give me a break. 2 hours a week… Lets see… That’s the same amount of time it takes to watch a single movie. 2 hours a week isn’t “very serious” about anything. That’s just dabling. Truey scary if devoting just 2 hours a week to something is considered taking it “very seriously” by these people. 2002-08-23 9:44 pm Obviously, the very “active” developers then have a nice excuse for producing Bloat as most open source is, GPL software anyway I’d say. Hard to keep yourself updated just working 2 hours every week. 2002-08-23 11:09 pm Creating any piece of SW or HW that is your own pet project that may or may not be released as Open Source is damned hard work if the thing is intended to be even remotely useful & bug free. I would figure that 2hrs per week is going nowhere, like pushing a rock up hill, then coming back to find its slipped back down. It takes me more like 20-60hrs/wk to stay on top & get ahead of the game, and the work will still have to be redone a few times before the thing is polished. Guess I don’t fit any of the stereotypes either except the greying beard. 2002-08-23 11:25 pm Creating any piece of SW or HW that is your own pet project that may or may not be released as Open Source is damned hard work if the thing is intended to be even remotely useful & bug free. No kidding. I don’t think non-programmers, and those who use VB, understand this. I don’t fit the stereotype either. I have an average short Mr. Roger’s type haircut, I don’t smoke, I don’t drink, I don’t rely on caffeinated drinks to stay awake (nor do I like most of them), and I spend every moment possible with my wife and kids. I can’t even grow a beard very well. Oh well, I still enjoy what I do. 2002-08-24 12:47 am I think linux really needs more women developer’s, maybe then it would be less of a “made by crocodile dundee” OS. 2002-08-24 12:57 am Hell, anyone that has put headers to text-editor knows that 2 hours wouldn’t be enough to do anything! Of course, this sort of study wouldn’t include the “spare CPU cycles” of a programmer’s brain. You know, the bit that suddenly sparks “Hey! I’ve got it! I need to do this-” in the middle of reading their favourite sci-fi/fantasy novel (with no computer related topics whatsoever.) Hell – I’m sure most programmers dream about their code for more than 2 hours per week. And that’s not the serious ones. The serious ones probably don’t sleep that long in a week! 2002-08-24 2:48 am Well, I am a budding developer myself. I don’t have much knowledge outside of VB6 and Perl, but I am slowly learning C++. *mumble* As for me, I usually spend about 2 hours a day learning and coding, and that is not including work. My job involves a computer, but isn’t too technical .. requires no programming outside of regular expressions. I’m wondering how long/often OSNews readers who program do it outisde of work, and if even your job has anything to do with programming? One thing I have learned about programming is that it is a HUGE time-suck of a hobby career. Maybe some of you have a zen-like mentality to it and can pick up a new language in an hour or so, but many of us aren’t so lucky It seems that by the time you get a handle around one technology another technology comes along 2 weeks later. Sometimes I wish the the industry would slow down for about 5 years so that I could relax a little more and enjoy life 2002-08-24 2:59 am You fool. everyone knows Coca-Cola is the perfered choice for OSS developers. Next time do some research before talking out of your butt. 2002-08-24 5:24 am “It seems that by the time you get a handle around one technology another technology comes along 2 weeks later.” Hmm.. Perhaps you should not focus so much on learning the buzz-technology of the week and just concentrate on becoming proficient in one area. I should take that advice myself.. Jumping between learning PHP, C++ and python when I was just starting to get comfortable with Java was not a good idea. In the fall I have my first “real” university programming course, but its mainly assembly…. GRRRR. 2002-08-26 4:40 pm Mr.Cancelled: I didn’t get why Eugenia couldn’t link the original report – it’s in the ZDNet article. I guess she was in ‘Executive mood’ and limited herself to ‘Executive summary’. Meanwhile the original report reveals how little these stats have with reality. They had 2784 respondents – is it enough sample to judge ? 2% of them have only elementary school education – how valid their responses are ? 0.5% are working on more than 20 OpenSource projects simultaneously! Give me a break. Majority of them is from France – it’s hard for me to validate this claim. Darius: It’s better to get a job where you can code – this way you can polish your overall coding skills. And trash somebody’s else computer. Don’t worry about new technology popping up every 2 weeks – it’s only new new marketing term is popping up every 2 weeks. keep focused and try learn as much as you can find on internet – java, c, lisp, pascal, schema, ruby, python, forth, fortran, assembler etc. After about 12-15 languages you get ‘insight’ and start thinking as computer (registers, stacks, I/Os etc). At this point you should be able to produce a decent code in your sleep and it will be about 4-5 hours per day. It’s a good 30 hours for your OpenSource project every week. Extra advice – don’t do it while you driving, you may kill some other OpenSource developer.