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RudderStack + GitHub Sponsors: Making Open Source More Sustainable for Developers

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This post was originally published on RudderStack's blog. I wrote this as part of a formal announcement for RudderStack's GitHub Sponsors program.

We all use Open Source Software (OSS) all the time, even when we don’t know it. The backbone of the Internet is built on OSS. OSS makes standing on the shoulders of coding giants as easy as forking a repo, which just isn’t possible with closed source software. Yet a vast majority of developers that build and architect OSS, unless in the small, incredibly lucky minority of developers fully employed by a company or organization to do open source work, don’t get compensated for their work. We are working to change that.

RudderStack Partners in Launch of GitHub Sponsors for Companies

We partnered with GitHub in their launch of GitHub Sponsors for companies at GitHub Universe 2020. Open source developers deserve to be compensated for their work, and GitHub Sponsors for companies gives a new, better channel for compensating them. A channel that we are excited to be using.

GitHub Sponsors launched in 2019. It allowed individuals to support open source projects and developers. Millions of dollars have been sent to open source developers through GitHub Sponsors already, with some even making six-figures annually. This has helped to make open source more sustainable and has encouraged some developers to make open source their full-time job.

GitHub Sponsors for companies gives organizations this same ability to invest in open source all within the GitHub ecosystem, making the compensation process easier for companies and whoever they sponsor. Due to the way that GitHub Sponsors works and its initial intent, individuals sponsoring open source projects and devs for work they have done, almost all of the companies that are currently participating in GitHub Sponsors are supporting open source projects and contributors to open source projects that the companies use or that their engineers vote to sponsor. We decided to take a different approach.

Enhancement Bounties

Since RudderStack is open source, and we want more external contribution to our projects, we are using GitHub Sponsors to directly compensate developers for work that we want done via what we are calling Enhancement Bounties. Each bounty is defined in a GitHub Issue in our rudder-server repo that includes the label “$$$ Bounty”. We already have two enhancement bounties, one for Jamstack instrumentation that is nearing completion and one for a Roku SDK that hasn’t been picked up by anyone yet. Each has a bounty set at $2,000. You can read our initial announcement of them in our post. The results of our first bounty have been good, with a Gatsby plugin for RudderStack built by Chris Wray and already published to npm and Gatsby’s plugin page (GitHub repo here).

We will have new enhancement bounties coming soon with each announced in a post on our as well as our Twitter. Follow us on both for info about future enhancement bounty opportunities.

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