Indirect benefits of working on open source

| free and open source

(This is not even a draft – more like table-napkin scribblings for my article for a class I’m taking)

Working on open source also has indirect benefits for local
developers. Surveys show that open source development helps developers
learn some skills more effectively than they would in formal computing
courses.(Give examples, cite link)

Because most open source projects are freely available for download,
developers can experiment with new technologies at little financial
risk. In the process of customizing and packaging the software for
use, local developers improve their technical skills. Open source code
and customizing it allows local developers to learn from projects far
larger than any they could work on in a formal computing course.

Because open source is typically developed by large,
geographically-distributed teams, tools such as version control
systems and mailing lists are essential. Open source developers
quickly learn not only how to use these tools, but also how to work
with other people.

Developers who contribute code and other resources back to the global
open source communities can also benefit from informal
apprenticeships. Their contributions can be peer-reviewed by more
experienced developers, and they can get feedback from users and
co-developers around the world.

Open source provides a way for developers to improve their skills and
gain real-world experience even if proprietary software companies do
not have development opportunities in the area. Open source can also
be a form of nearly-free knowledge transfer between global developers
and local developers.

Random Emacs symbol: cross-disabled-images – Variable: Non-nil means always draw a cross over disabled images.

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