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Unemployed? IT type? Get even .... volunteer for your favorite Linux/Open Source project

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thunder rising Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 04:15 PM
Original message
Unemployed? IT type? Get even .... volunteer for your favorite Linux/Open Source project
Edited on Tue Sep-22-09 04:15 PM by thunder rising
Lets face it, the single best way to get the attention of US corps that are sending our jobs overseas or replacing us in-house with H1-B is to threaten their profit line.

We have this power. Pick your favorite Linux or other Open Source project and give them that free time.

The more people that are involved the bigger it gets and the easier it is to get normal users to try it out.

Simply Google your project (e.g. Apache, Linux (or distro), Open Office ... whatever) and get involved.

It will help to fill a blank spot on the resume and keep you busy in a meaningful way.

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cliffordu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 04:16 PM
Response to Original message
1. An enthusiastic K&R.
Power to the geeks!!!

Linux counter # 36365
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 04:18 PM
Response to Original message
2. Not a bad idea,
and we users of open source software appreciate the effort, by the by
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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 04:22 PM
Response to Original message
3. Or start your own project....
Edited on Tue Sep-22-09 04:34 PM by Statistical
I made some apps in C# based on a library that was legacy C++. Callling on COM objects from managed code is possible but it always feels sloppy. It makes the code hard to read and breaks a lot of managed aspects of .net. Updating, modification, and bug fixes tend to be a pain. I liked the library but I hated the COM aspects.

When I was underemployed I spent a couple hundred hours developing a runtime-callable wrapper that encapsulated the COM calls and hid pointers and other non-managed junk from the main applications.

The RCW allows the library to be used managed code in a more direct and logical manner. Behind the scenes the same COM calls are made but to the end programmer it is a more logical and efficient way to code. Nice bonus for me is making the wrapper robust and bug free made it much easier to develop apps based on the library.

It is pretty easy to setup up a project site. My current employer specifically named that project as the reason they hired me over people with more "paper" experience.
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tabatha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 05:22 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. Do you sell the wrapper?
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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 08:17 PM
Response to Reply #7
14. No the library is open source & free
Edited on Tue Sep-22-09 08:32 PM by Statistical
In that tradition the RCW is also open source and fre.

The job offer I received partially from that code paid about 30% more than the job I was laid off from.
I consider it the best 320 hour investment in my future.

Despite the naysayers down thread it is a valuable tool to gain some exposure and stand out from the crowd.

Most code written under employment is property of employer and protected by NDA. This is a glimpse for the employer to see your true potential. Of course knowing that make it efficient and elegent. Don't slap some garbage code together. Save that for once you are employed and the deadline is coming up. :)
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tabatha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 09:04 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. Could you possibly provide a link to the open source code?
Thanks.

Good for you on doing this on your own initiative.
I bet it was also an educational experience.
And as for being a job getter, you proved your point and will reap enormously from doing it.

It also means to your employer that you are a self-starter, and will help the company get ahead.
No downside.



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nebenaube Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 09:25 AM
Response to Reply #15
16. there are millions... n/t
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tabatha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 11:46 AM
Response to Reply #16
19. Yes, there are millions
but for a specific app, maybe only one.
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Deja Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 04:23 PM
Response to Original message
4. Free is not a business model and love does not pay the bills. Also,
google the definition of "crowdsourcing". It's another way to devalue meritorious labor.
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cliffordu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 07:41 PM
Response to Reply #4
12. Kinda bullshit. Ask IBM what they do with it.
Or me.
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Recursion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 09:37 AM
Response to Reply #4
17. I do pretty well supporting and writing open-source software
But note the order of those verbs. As RMS said, "you can make a living in free software, just not a killing"
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Joanne98 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 04:23 PM
Response to Original message
5. Great idea.
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Sen. Walter Sobchak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 04:28 PM
Response to Original message
6. or... please, please, please
Edited on Tue Sep-22-09 04:29 PM by Sen. Walter Sobchak
Get yourself up to speed on the CT Summation platform, it is horrendously bad software that for reasons beyond me has dominated the legal profession and we can NEVER find enough people well versed in it.

Our last search yielded only three candidates - two of whom refused to relocate to California.

On top of that there is tons of free training courses offered by Summation, http://www.summation.com/News/Seminars/default.aspx

I have no vested interest in Summation, indeed I hate it with the passion and wish it simply ceased to exist - but the work is there and it is lucrative for anybody who has the patience for it.
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glitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 06:11 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. Where in CA? nt
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Sen. Walter Sobchak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 06:52 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Costa Mesa,
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glitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 06:56 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. Damn. :) nt
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Ignis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 12:13 PM
Response to Reply #6
20. Have you tried local outsourced-IT shops?
Explain to them that you really, really want to give them a lot of money on an hourly basis for support, but you need them to send a few techs to FREE training first.

Also mention that you have a list of X other law offices who are in the same boat.

Most local, mid-sized, outsourced-IT shops would jump at this opportunity. But then...many of the mid-sized local shops have gone out of business in the past 10 years.

Good luck, either way! :hi:
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Sen. Walter Sobchak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 04:48 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. they need more than the free training, they need to get deep into the software
the main problem where this litigation support stuff is concerned is IT people are bored to tears by it and will jump at almost any opportunity to do almost anything else no matter what the salary. While administrative people lack to technical skills to really use the software.

Its a sore point around here because we built an in-house system back in the mid-90's that works much better than Summation, but somehow Summation carried the day industry wide.
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JBoris Donating Member (675 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 07:34 PM
Response to Original message
11. Nice sentiment, but...
Most "open source" projects are actually developed by paid employees of companies or non-profit organizations. Unix was originally developed by AT&T employees at Bell labs, OpenOffice was mostly developed by software megacorp Sun Microsytems, and Apache is developed by paid employees of a non-profit.

I'm not saying that there aren't private citizens who write software for free (just for the nerd-cred). Ubuntu is based on a Linux Kernel that was originally developed by a student, but Ubuntu itself is developed by paid employees of a company as well as paid employees of a non-profit.

Furthermore I don't see how developing free software, that enable companies to make a profit, will help "IT types" if they give away their hard earned skills for free.


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Xithras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 07:50 PM
Response to Original message
13. "fill a blank spot on the resume" is the big one.
Edited on Tue Sep-22-09 07:53 PM by Xithras
There's an unwritten rule among IT hiring types that anyone who hasn't written code in 6 months should be considered "entry level", and anyone who hasn't coded in a year shouldn't be considered a programmer any longer. The skills tend to erode quickly if they're not being used.

Any software developer who isn't working should be putting those skills to use on something that is independently documentable. An open source application on SourceForge is great, even if nobody actually uses it, simply because it allows potential employers to see that you've been working in the field. Just keep in mind that project histories are visible to the public, so a project tossed together in your first week of unemployment that remained untouched for the following six months might raise a few eyebrows if you list it as your sole experience for that entire period. Releasing new versions periodically is a good thing.

Also keep in mind that these projects will allow potential employers to view your source, and your coding ability. It may be open source, but if you're going to use it on a resume, professionalism is paramount.

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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 11:11 AM
Response to Reply #13
18. Very good points... I would also add.
Even if you are employed there is no way for a recruiter to see the quality of your work. Code created under contract is property of the employer and likely protected by an NDA.

So if it were me and I had to candidates with similar work experience and education.
one I have to just take their word they are a good software developer
the other I can see their work and confirm myself they are competent

I would go with the second one.

Of course if you skills are marginal or weak it might be better to hide that rather than let everyone know.
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