Originally Published: Tuesday, 5 October 1999 Author: Jeff Alami
Published to: Internal News/Featured Articles Page: 1/1 - [Printable]

Day in the Life

Matt Michie has a story about the future life of the free software developer.

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"He'd had too much Star Trek lingering in his soul when he programmed the house subsystems. The computer acknowledged the commands, and one of the Linux boxes stashed in the closet spit out a series of orders to the coffee maker and toaster. The kitchen appliances were connected to the house Ethernet, each with their own IPv6 address. It was a joke taken too far by Trent and a couple of hardware hacker pals. He would have dismantled it since it was clunky and impractical, but Trent couldn't bear to give up the bragging rights it afforded him."

"With a short sigh, he scanned through the headers of the unread mail. The agent had already marked several of the ones it had determined as urgent in red. Trent quickly read through them and found he had been offered a contract to add some features into a program he had written awhile back and released as free software into the 'net. He was still the defacto maintainer even though he didn't contribute most of the programming talent these days. His job was mostly acting as the benevolent dictator, deciding what features would go in the "official" distribution. The more people that used his program, the more patches flowed in, and the greater recognition and accolades he received. In fact, this recognition had helped him land a job in a startup company several years back. Not only did they do some revolutionary programming, but they made pretty good bank off the whole IPO thing. It allowed Trent to `retire' at 29. Now he did the things he wanted to do and occasionally he contracted out for some freelance programming."

Read the article.

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