Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Vendor Pays OSS Developers for Enterprise Support 73

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the hard-niche-to-fill dept.
Anonymous Coward writes "eWeek is reporting that a company called OpenLogic is paying qualified experts in the open-source community to provide enterprise support for projects they are intimately familiar with. OpenLogic calls its new initiative its Expert Community program."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Vendor Pays OSS Developers for Enterprise Support

Comments Filter:
  • NOT paying. (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    the article is incorrect. they DO NOT PAY.
    QUOTE :
    OpenLogic is looking for the best and brightest open source developers to join the OpenLogic Expert Community. As a thank you for their time, Open Logic Expert Community members can earn points redeemable for rewards in the OpenLogic Rewards program. Learn more about the OpenLogic Expert Community and the OpenLogic Rewards program.
    • Are you sure? (Score:3, Informative)

      by Kelson (129150) *

      From the OpenLogic Community FAQ [openlogic.com]:

      Do I get paid to be a part of the Expert Community?
      Yes, the OpenLogic Rewards program pays Expert Community members upon successful resolution of an incident. OpenLogic charges enterprise for support. OpenLogic's internal technical support team resolves basic issues. OpenLogic, in turn, contracts with members of the community to resolve more complex issues.

      • Re:Are you sure? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by AuMatar (183847) on Monday May 08, 2006 @02:29PM (#15287602)
        They get paid in points which, supposedly, can be cashed in for cash and prizes. So can tickets I win at the local skee-ball arcade, but I don't expect to make a living there either. I couldn't find a public list of how much various items cost in points, what the turn around time for cashing in points is, or even what items are available (other than the Xbox 360). Also, it looks like they get a fixed amount of points by severity, rather than based on the difficulty of the problem. This means the more difficult problems will be actively avoided, as the pay/hr is not worth it. I'd be seriously concerned about all of that if I was considering signing up. Of course, I rather doubt I have committer access on any of the projects they're looking for anyway.

        On a side note- anyone else find it amusing that the big reward they're pimping out is an MS product?
        • Re:Are you sure? (Score:2, Flamebait)

          by Homology (639438)
          Common, dude! This is nothing less than a transparent scheme to get highly qualified persons work for free. Why does this remind me of IBM and Linux?
        • I agree with your general sentiment; still, I'd point out that if the company in question wants, say, a patch for a bug you're going to fix anyway, or an effort to port to another platform, or some other objective you ultimately wish to accomplish, it can be worthwhile.

          I suspect a lot of people working on open source projects aren't thinking on a pay/hour basis, since they're getting $0. I also doubt anyone is going to try to make real money off this -- if they wanted to, they'd be working as an independent

    • I'd imagine there is some sort of exchange rate between OpenLogic Rewards points and US dollars, something that could easily be figured out by posting some for sale on Ebay.

      Would it be worth it? Probably not. But they are being 'paid' in the form of goods.
    • Bollocks (Score:5, Informative)

      by Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) * <whineymacfanboy@gmail.com> on Monday May 08, 2006 @02:30PM (#15287605) Homepage Journal
      Horsecrap - I can't see that quote anywhere in TFA or openlogic's press release [openlogic.com]

      The press release says in fact:
      Through the OpenLogic Expert Community, OpenLogic will pay qualified experts within the open source development community to provide in-depth support for open source products.
      and:
      In addition to paying members of the OpenLogic Expert Community to resolve enterprise issues, OpenLogic will also contribute money for each issue resolved to a fund that will be used to help further open source efforts.
      And (slightly offtopic, but put more elequontly & humorously then the usual 'blah blah, oss has noone to sue'):
      "We have heard loud and clear from our larger enterprise customers, some of whom are using more than 400 open source products, that they want one throat to choke for open source support," said Steven Grandchamp, CEO of OpenLogic.
      You sir, are a shill from one of the proprietary companies, trembling in their boots about new business models.
      • Try the third paragraph here [openlogic.com].
        • Re:Bollocks (Score:4, Informative)

          by GigsVT (208848) on Monday May 08, 2006 @02:52PM (#15287775) Journal
          1 point is $1. You get $100 for resolving an "incident" that they claim will generally take less than 4 hours.

          So $25 an hour or more. Not exactly inspiring, but not bad either, especially if it was shit you were going to fix in the next release anyway.
          • 1 point may be $1 today, but one of the main reasons for using a "point" system rather than a "dollar" system is that the person in charge can change the value of a point whenever they want. My bank's credit card rewards program issues 1 point per dollar charged to your card, which would seem to indicate $1 = 1 point, but when you redeem you find that's certainly not the case. After 4 years I accumulated 10,000 points and I was able to redeem my points for a shitty flatware set that retails at Target for
            • As an employee in the marketing department of a business that has a loyalty card program, I am curious; What gave you the impression that you would get back a dollar for each dollar spent? Do you normally assume that companies will pay all your bills, or is this something you reserve for carded loyalty programs? Inquiring minds want to know.

              I'm mostly just curious because we, too, give one point per dollar spent. Our conversion rate is definitely multiple points to the dollar - and a bunch of 'em, too.

              • I don't think he is expecting to get back $1, just using it as an example of how point systems can mean that the people in charge of the point values choose (and can change) how much a point is worth.
            • I doubt it would go down.

              For one, it's already kinda low. They aren't going to attract the people they want to attract with lower rates.

              As other people have pointed out, your example isn't really very good, since they never said you'd get back all the money you spent.

              They probably call it points in an attempt to get people to use it on the items instead of cash, since those probably cost them less and have less tax implications.
              • No, actually I worked at a company whose purpose was loyalty rewards programs and the like, and the banks specifically said the currency had to be in points so that they wouldn't have any cash value and if they decided to lower the value of a point customers couldn't sue them.
    • I think you need to look at the FAQ at http://www.openlogic.com/community/faq.php [openlogic.com]:


      you will receive 100 points per incident you resove. [...] Points can be traded in for cash (100 points = $100 dollars) or merchandise (such as an Xbox 360).
    • You will get paid! (Score:2, Informative)

      by stormypeters (973568)
      You will get paid! For any issue you resolve successfully, you will get paid. We track how much you'll get paid in points. You can trade in the points for cash or for things like XBoxes. (This is in addition to the XBoxes being given to the first members to join on successfully resolving their first issue.) The reason we added the point system was because some people would rather have prizes like XBoxes than cash. (I was told by SEVERAL people that they'd rather get things like XBoxes because if they
      • (I was told by SEVERAL people that they'd rather get things like XBoxes because if they got cash their wives would never let them by XBoxes.)
        These guys have wives? No way. I think "wives" is just an alternate way to spell "moms."
      • because if they got cash their wives would never let them by XBoxes ... But you can trade in your points directly for dollars

        Ok so you figured by adding that layer of complexity in the middle there with these "points" that you would completely confuse the subpar intelligence of the beast known as wife. So like she'll be sitting there looking at her living room full of geeks playing oblivion and snorting coke all over her couch, looking back and forth from the points to the cash or xbox 360 options... back
      • "Or you can save them up for XBoxes."

        The X-Box, because you can never have too many.
  • Add this model to the list of rebuttals to the "you can't make money on open-source" meme.
    • Depends how mush you get paid really doesnt it. This sounds more adhoc than full time support.

      Also does it not rebutt the myth that if you have the code you can easily maintain and improve it yourself?
      • does it not rebutt the myth that if you have the code you can easily maintain and improve it yourself?

        No more than the existence of Dell, eMachines, and other PC manufacturers rebuts the "myth" that if you have access to computer components, you can easily build and upgrade a computer yourself.
      • Full time support personnel are mostly employees.

        This ad hoc approach seems to fit in well with the whole open source approach,
        for areas where a smaller amount of expert support is required. It seems to be
        a welcome addition to the employee or consultant roles.

        The myth that you can easily maintain the code is rebutted very quickly in
        the mind of anyone actually trying to do it.

        Improving or adapting code can often be done, particularly on the smaller projects,
        depending on the architecture of the code base you
      • by spun (1352) <loverevolutionary AT yahoo DOT com> on Monday May 08, 2006 @03:45PM (#15288180) Journal
        Also does it not rebutt the myth that if you have the code you can easily maintain and improve it yourself?

        It proves the truth that if you have access to the code you can easily maintain and improve it yourself by paying someone to do it for you. Or did you think that simply having the code automatically makes everyone a programmer? Or (more likely) are you deliberately misinterpreting this "myth" to make some snarky straw-man point? In any case, your comment made me laugh my ass off and now I need to "rebutt" myself.
    • Nobody has said that they're making any money, or will make any money in the future. This is just a press-release (paid?) for a service that they may provide in the future. Very little money has been made with OSS across the entire industry up to this point, and the failure rate has been phenomenal. As of yet, this is still an unproven "model".
      • Hey you know you're right [google.com]. Compared to the competition [google.com], open source is just a waste of time. Well, I mean as long as you ignore the gentle down slope of microsoft stock and rapid rise of red hat stock. I wish I would have invested in redhat earlier this year, I would have tripled my money. Additionally, you completely ignore the fact that open source is not so much a provided service, as much as a cooperative venture. Company's don't buy open source software like closed source software. If the company
        • by NineNine (235196)
          1. Stock price has little to nothing to do with the profitability of a company.

          2. The question was about OSS and making money, which is still argely unproven. Whether or not OSS provides better advancement in software in general is a point that can be argued, but whether or not it can make money can't be argued at this point: By and large, OSS does NOT make money.
      • It is extremely difficult to effectively sell OSS software. True. Anything given away is difficult to sell. That is far away from meaning that OSS does not make money. You should refine your statement so as to specify what "model" you are talking about. There has been limited success with the sale and support of specific linux distros (but at the same time others have done exceedingly well in this arena). But software developers are software developers and administrators are administrators. You can h
    • Yes, the parent company will make money supporting OS software. This is nothing new. The only difference here is the OS developers and community managers have a chance to earn 'points' that they can redeam on prizes. So if you are an OS developer and willing to live off of cracker jacks, then yes, you can get paid this way.

      -Rick
    • You get paid "points" which can be redeemed for "cash and prizes" ...

      Another posted put it best "like tickets at an arcade ... but I don't expect to make a living there"
  • by Slightly Askew (638918) on Monday May 08, 2006 @02:24PM (#15287558) Journal

    From their website:

    Be a Part of the Expert Community
    OpenLogic is looking for the best and brightest open source developers to join the OpenLogic Expert Community. As a thank you for their time, Open Logic Expert Community members can earn points redeemable for rewards in the OpenLogic Rewards program. Learn more about the OpenLogic Expert Community and the OpenLogic Rewards program.

    In other words, no, you're not going to get paid for helping. You will receive 10 Bazooka Joe comics for each Apache installation, and 5 Chuck E. Cheese tickets per debugged line of code.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Look a bit further through their website. You'll also find the FAQ [openlogic.com] which states that these "points" can be redeemed for cash. 100+ points/incident, 1 point = $1. So if you want the cash, that's $100/incident.
    • You will receive 10 Bazooka Joe comics for each Apache installation, and 5 Chuck E. Cheese tickets per debugged line of code.
      Personally, I'm hoping they'll pay in Linden dollars [wikipedia.org].
    • Once Chuck E. Cheese starts stocking computer parts, I'll be debugging like crazy.
    • As a progressive, forward-looking individual, I scoff at all you reactionaries espousing your quote-unqoute "efficient markets" and "capitalist systems." What this world really needs is an accelerated advancement toward the economics of the future: barter.

      Just think, I could earn twenty Betty Boop comics for some httpd.conf work and give them to some institution - say, a "bank" - in exchange for a piece of paper granting the bearer twenty Betty Boop comics. Then, we could all happily wear burlap sacks a

    • Ok, as someone said, you can trade in your points for cash. This begs the question of why the company would do this. This would have to add overhead to maintain the site for cashing points, providing gifts, etc. Why not just give you the money?

      My guess is that if they give you points, then you redeem them for things (including cash), you will be taxed the Gift Tax rate of approximately 40% and the company will not be required to pay various taxes that they have to pay for regular employees.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    This article goes on to say that even though the developers ARE NOT BEING PAID , when the suport was outsourced offshore , then it ended up being cheaper TO PAY the offshore developers THAN TO NOT PAY the American developers.

    The reason for this is the "time cost" of having to "talk" to American developers, whereas for offshore support, nothing you say is understood, so you bypass the "communication" or "talking" aspect of things.

    U send me ur non paying outsourced job plz.

  • by mustafap (452510) on Monday May 08, 2006 @02:55PM (#15287789) Homepage
    >help solve issues and win an Xbox 360.

    Wow. So they charge big bucks an hour, and we get a shiny xbox!

    What idiot accepted this article?
  • from the summary and comments, it's obvious that there is a business case for open source: open source pays and doesn't pay, possibly giving points which could be redeemable for cash, to american or offshore programmers. or not.
  • Legal Agreement (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ArikTheRed (865776) on Monday May 08, 2006 @03:01PM (#15287837) Homepage
    3. Compensation. Unless otherwise covered in a separate written Addendum to this Agreement, your compensation for completing an assignment will be listed on the Committed Community website when you apply for the assignment. Compensation is subject to change by OpenLogic and any changes shall be effective when posted to the Committed Community website or provided to you via email. You are responsible for any and all taxes due on any compensation received from OpenLogic.

    Wow, why didn't anyone think of this before? A compensation program that is subject to change at will... I only need to usually make my house payment anyway.
  • ... where jobs will be posted in open forums/sites, and people will take them on and get paid, be it contract jobs, be it support for open source software - a truly open world we are going towards ?
  • This is a great way to get enterprise support...if your idea of "enterprise support" is a couple of high-schoolers with a couple months of Linux experience on their two-box networks telling you what to do. (Plus, "I migrated EDS from Cleveland to San Antonio and all I got was this lousy XBox?")

    I wonder if OpenLogic takes coupons and IOUs as payment in lieu of cash? (Don't laugh too hard; many class-action suits end with the plantiffs getting coupons.)
  • by fiddlesticks (457600) on Monday May 08, 2006 @04:13PM (#15288399) Homepage
    Legal Agreement:Please review the OpenLogic Expert Community Agreement [openlogic.com] If you are accepted to the OpenLogic Expert Community, you will be asked to read and accept the agreement.

    'Assignments may be bugs, errors, problems or other issues associated with open source projects. OpenLogic will post assignments on the Committed Community website located at www.________.com '

    (their underscores, not mine)

    'If you develop any source code or other material as part of any assignment, you agree that you will provide a copy of the source code or other materials to OpenLogic.You also agree to assign to OpenLogic joint ownership in any and all worldwide copyrights, moral rights and other proprietary and intellectual property rights you have in the source code or other materials'
  • by david.gilbert (605443) on Monday May 08, 2006 @04:34PM (#15288560)
    I got an email from OpenLogic last month, inviting me to join the program. I binned it when I read:

    In addition, as an introductory offer, if you are one of the first 75 people to join the OpenLogic Expert Community, you will receive an Xbox 360 once you resolve your first issue.

    Which part of their market research made them think I'd want a Microsoft TOY as a reward for my expertise?

  • So when I'm doing a phat Typo3 Project Kaspar Skarhoj is the best choice for advice?
    Yes.

    If I wanna do some Real Time 3D thing I need Ton Roosendaal and the Blender Crew?
    Right.

    Do I need this company?
    No.

    To me it just looks like some shop trying to feed of the OSS community. This might be attrative for someone who's good at coding but can't market himself. But from what I can tell all those people at project leads are doing perfectly well in doing business all by themselves.
  • *sigh* More greedy people trying to squeeze their way in as useless middle men. It seems to me that when money enters the picture, things hardly ever go well.

    Look at the scammy behaviour prompted by google's adsense money or yahoo and overtures' click bounties and "alliances" promoting spyware spammers and ad farms and search engine abuse. I even just got a spam of a monster.com job offer; apparently due to some kind of reward which is motivating people to spam their job postings around. "work at home"

  • "We have heard loud and clear from our larger enterprise customers, some of whom are using more than 400 open source products, that they want one throat to choke for open source support," said Steven Grandchamp, CEO of OpenLogic.

    People having been using this phrase a lot lately. I always ask them "Are you quoting Carl Panzram [wikipedia.org] or Caligula [wikipedia.org]?"

    "I wish you all had one neck, and my hands were around it." -- Carl Panzram

    "Utinam populus Romanus unam cervicem haberet!" (I wish the Roman people had one throat) -- C

When you make your mark in the world, watch out for guys with erasers. -- The Wall Street Journal

Working...