Coding for a living

Michael Halcrow mike at
Fri Dec 23 07:42:12 MST 2005

On Thu, Dec 22, 2005 at 08:39:40PM -0800, Jonathan Ellis wrote:
> I would say that contributing to someone else's project looks better
> than starting your own (unless yours is one of the few that attracts
> dozens of developers) since that says that not only are you
> motivated to keep learning, but that the project leads thought your
> code was good enough to merge.

Anybody can create a SourceForge project. Not everybody can get his
code in the Linux kernel. Employers who know something about OSS can
generally discern the relative value of your contribution. When I was
interviewing for my current job, the 30 lines of code that I got into
MPlayer meant more than the thousands of lines of code that I wrote
for my own pet OSS projects.

Pick a major project -- Mozilla, OpenOffice, etc. -- and get a cool
feature merged in. OpenOffice in particular has lots of low-hanging

                         Michael A. Halcrow                          
       Security Software Engineer, IBM Linux Technology Center       
GnuPG Fingerprint: 419C 5B1E 948A FA73 A54C  20F5 DB40 8531 6DCA 8769

"Why should I spend half my Sunday hearing about how I'm going to    
 - Homer Simpson 
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