Like many others our work is enabled by open source software. We make a heavy use of the several great open source projects out there. Since they help us doing our business and doing it in a productive way, we want to give some love aehmm work back. So we decided to dedicate one day per month to open source contributions. These can be bug fixes, new features, even documentation or bug reports. I believe that every contribution helps an open source project and many projects need help.
The whole development team will work on projects they like. One day per month does not sound much but I think even starting small helps. And maybe you can suggest a similar day in your company, too ?
Besides the obvious boost in developer motivation (and therefore productivity) there are several things your company will benefit from:
- help in your own projects: fixing bugs in the open source projects you use is like fixing bugs in your own project
- image for your company: being active in open source gives a better image regarding potential future employees and also shows responsibility in the field they work in
- PR for your company and an edge over your competition: writing about your contributions and your insights in your company blog, remember: out teach your competition
So get your company to spend just one day per month or so for open source. It may not be much but every little bit helps!