I have been doing freelance consulting work for the past several years, mostly for .NET applications but over the past year I seem to be doing more Ruby on Rails applications. I enjoy the Ruby community more that the .NET community, not sure why but maybe because they seem more laid back.
Recently I have been getting more involved in some iPhone development work and learning a bit about the iPhone and Mac development community, yet a different group of folks. This post is not about the various communities but what each type of community expects from either freelancers or someone looking for a job in general.
The gigs and jobs I have pursued and taken in the past have included many .NET related projects. The project requirements are pretty straight-forward with the hiring folks just asking for an up-to-date resume followed by a phone call and possible interview. This approach is pretty easy, just keep your resume updated with new skills and/or projects.
Ruby on Rails
This community, and probably like any community centered around open-source, doesn?t care a lot about resumes but wants to see your list of of open-source projects you have committed to via your GitHub page. This seems to make sense to people who are heavily into open-source projects, giving their time to the good of the open-source cause.
So what if you use Ruby on Rails to make a living and you don?t spend your free time writing code to commit to freely available software? I certainly don?t have the time to commit to open-source and I find the measure of someone?s worth is how much they commit as total bullshit! I guess some folks have the time to sit around all night writing code to freely giveaway, which is awesome. What about those with families that actually work to live, not live to work?
I have nothing against open-source and I totally support it but make it a requirement to position yourself against others? I would contribute to an open-source project if I was using in a project and needed some functionality others could use. I think this is the best scenario for most folks to give back.
The iPhone projects I have run against are looking for experienced developers but aren?t looking at resumes or open source projects but seeing what you have in the iTunes store. I can?t say I agree or disagree with this but it seems to be the only real way at this point to measure someone?s experience in iPhone development. Resumes probably don?t work because iPhone development is too new and people are not creating many open source projects for the iPhone due to Apple?s limitation on getting applications on the phones.
So, what it if I don?t have an application in the store yet? I guess I am out of luck but is probably a good way to judge the best talent.
While I agree with the way .NET and iPhone folks are hiring people, I find the way the value of open source developers are measured. I won?t be giving away my free time anytime soon to contribute to an open source project in the hopes of building reputation, not after 20+ years of software development.
I do find it interesting how each separate community judges and rates its contributors. Each has a very different way they feel is the best way to bring people on projects.