The secret life of open source developers
2021-09-29, 10:00–10:30, Buenos Aires

A common question seen on many open source mailing lists is "When will you guys fix my bug?" It is critical to my company This is often followed by one of the developers replying to say "When you write a fix or pay someone to do it". This leads to the user complaining to everyone that this snarkiness is not a welcoming response or how unreasonable it is to expect them to learn to program, or to pay. The discussion often descends into a rambling maze of twisty insults and justifications. When the fuss dies down, all the developers go back to doing what they the were doing something useful and the user becomes either a dissatisfied user or an ex-user. This talk by two veteran open source developers will help users see that play out from our the developer point of view. We ll look at the reasons that drive developers to share their code, the licencing conditions covering it, the real life of developers and associated constraints, and what is actually reasonable to expect from both sides.

This is a reprise of a very successful talk that was given at FOSS4G 2019 and that has been view more than 4000 times and lead to an interesting discussion of HackerNews amongst other places.

Authors and Affiliations

Ian Turton and Andrea Aime
GeoTools and GeoServer Project
(speaking in a personal capacity)


Community / OSGeo


Community & participatory FOSS4G


1 - Principiants. No required specific knowledge is needed.

Language of the Presentation


Open source enthusiast with strong experience in Java development and GIS. Personal interest range from high performance software, huge data volume management, software testing and quality, spatial data analysis algorithms, map rendering. Full time open source developer on GeoServer and GeoTools.
Received the Sol Katz's OSGeo award in 2017.

This speaker also appears in:

Ian is a long term open source developer who flirts with burn out on a monthly basis.