I would be a sellout, but there’s not much demand.

For Sale Portobello Mkt
For Sale Portobello Mkt by Jason Jones, under a CC-by-nc-sa license.

It would be nat­u­ral to any­one who does­n’t know me to be­lieve I live a life of lux­u­ry, in­ter­na­tion­al trav­el and ex­ot­ic plea­sures [1] but there is a small thing I am kin­da ashamed of:

I hard­ly ev­er got paid to code.

Re­al­ly! Most of the mon­ey I live on has ab­so­lute­ly noth­ing to do with what­ev­er you read about on my blog.

I make my liv­ing do­ing things like in­stalling As­ter­isk in call cen­ter­s, or con­fig­ur­ing MySQL repli­ca­tion, or con­fig­ur­ing VP­Ns us­ing as­sort­ed piece-of-crap routers and by all means if you need that kind of work done, please con­tact Net Man­agers we are freaky good at it and charge rea­son­able rates.

But while I like that kind of thing [2] I like oth­er things bet­ter. I like pro­gram­ming much more than I like con­fig­ur­ing As­ter­isk!

Then again, I am not a re­al­ly great pro­gram­mer. I am just about an av­er­age coder, ex­cept that I am faster than most.

And late­ly, an in­ter­est­ing phe­nom­e­non has tak­en place.

How much mon­ey I earned thanks to my first 14 years of open source and free soft­ware de­vel­op­men­t? $0 [3]

How much mon­ey have I earned in the last year of FLOSS de­vel­op­men­t? $500 (and it is bound to be more than that soon).

To a first-­worlder that may seem like peanut­s, but down here in the land of cheap beef, that’s… about 100 pounds of good meat! Or 10 nice din­ners in fine restau­rants for me and my wife. [4]

I am won­der­ing, is this part of a trend? Have oth­ers been re­ceiv­ing more ap­pre­ci­a­tion in the form of mon­ey late­ly?

In any case, it’s a great feel­ing when a work of love (and trust me, noone does some­thing for 14 years for free if he does­n’t love it) is ap­pre­ci­at­ed.

Just in case: this does­n’t mean you have to pay me to get a bug fixed, or to get a fea­ture im­ple­ment­ed. How­ev­er, it does mean that if you like or use any of my pro­grams and want me to feel good about the time I spent writ­ing them… well, you can just send me a nice email, I will be just as hap­py. Re­al­ly!

[1] I do!
[2] And I do like it! It’s like a grownup’s version of Lego.
[3] I did get boxed SuSE CD sets for a while but I actually lost money on them since I had to pay taxes.
[4] To all those who have contributed I send my sincerest appreciation, and trust me that all this money has been wisely invested on having fun, cheap chinese gadgetry and chocolate mousse.


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