How do developers have time to spare?

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How do developers have time to spare?

#1 Post by Rydra » Sun Jun 30, 2013 11:17 am

Hi there,

I always wondered how the hell do open-source project coders have time to develop games like freeorion, battle for wesnoth or 0 A.D. and yet do an excellent job and provide high-quality games.

I mean: I'm a pretty skillful computer engineer and developer (expert in Databases, development and UML/Software Engineering), expert in Java, C++, C#/NET, PHP, pretty young (26) and I always showed love and passion for open-source projects and I always wished to help develop any OS videogame. Yet I don't really know how to do it:

- My job (developer) consumes about 10.5h a day (8h work + 2.5 traveling)
- 7-8h sleep
- Keeping the body and mind healthy is necessary (1-2 hours sports)
- Eating and social relationships (friends, girlfriend... maybe 1-2h?)
- I'm a pretty competitive gamer and I like to relax playing strategy game.

I really don't know in which way I could help to any OS project at all, and I'm unaware of which is the common profile of Open-Source developers.

Can anyone give me 5 cents and enlighten me?

Thank you, once again this is a really great and addictive game, and by what I read freeorion community seems kind and active.

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Re: How do developers have time to spare?

#2 Post by adrian_broher » Sun Jun 30, 2013 11:43 am

I consider the contribution to this kind of project as time for self education in the terms of learning new technologies and social skills in terms of team communication.
Also I rarely play games nowadays so the big chunk of the time waster 'competitive game' is completely missing for me. Also I consider software development as relaxing strategy.
I really don't know in which way I could help to any OS project at all, and I'm unaware of which is the common profile of Open-Source developers.
Just do it. Jump into the code, ask questions, make proposals, fix the stuff that 'sucks' for you. Keep in mind that you're free to assign your time to a project as you wish, there are no deadlines like in a company and features are completed as they are considered 'good' and 'correctly implemented' and not when some customer relations guy say "We need a new version because the customer says so!". Even small contributions improve a project. Also think of the fact that you can point out foss projects as reference for the knowledge you have. I did that in fact for my last job and it improved my chances a bit. Granted the company is a smaller FOSS software developer, but I would assume that other companies wouldn't put a 'knowledge with foss software, contributed to project X, Y and Z this and that feature' entry certainly doesn't give you a discredit.

I just started with my FreeOrion contributions because the building process on Linux was horrible and completely not what I would expect for a well thought out build system.
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Attached patches are released under GPL 2.0 or later.
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Re: How do developers have time to spare?

#3 Post by Geoff the Medio » Sun Jun 30, 2013 6:16 pm

The question isn't really specific to FOSS development; you're essentially asking how anyone has time for a hobby. It depends on everyone's situations... Not everyone works a standard 8 hours / day job. Perhaps most notably for you, not everyone commutes for 2.5 hours every day (!). As Dilvish notes, whatever time you spend on TV or playing games could be reallocated. And there are usually 2 days a week and several weeks a year without any work or commuting requirements, which are very helpful for tackling medium or larger tasks.

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