Monday, August 25, 2008

Open Source: The Key to a Software Meritocracy

While the venture capital-funded dot-com boom may be well behind us, there is still hope for programmers to make an honest living. With the growing influence of open source software, the road is paved for businesses to succeed on their merits rather than through proprietary lock-in, writes columnist Jeremiah Gray.

Remember the good old days? Like back in 1999 when you could, as a friend of mine put it, "make a hundred thousand dollars a year for being able to spell Java." Those were the days, back when programmers driving Porsches had become a cliché.

Now, more than a decade after the dot-com boom began, tech people once again find themselves earning less money despite bringing significantly more value to their employers. As demands on technology workers increase each year, we see diminishing returns on our labor. And rather than taking issue, we often find ourselves relieved simply to have not been replaced by cheaper remote employees.

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