How To Make Money As An Open Source Software Maintainer.


Do you have a passion for coding and open-source software? Have you ever thought about making money as an open-source software maintainer?

It may be easier than you think! In this post, we’ll explore how to make money as an open-source software maintainer.

We’ll also discuss some of the benefits of this type of work. So, if you’re interested in making a career out of coding and open-source software, keep reading!

What Is Open Source Software?


Open source software is computer software that is available with its source code.

This type of software allows users to change and distribute the software without restrictions.

Most open source software is developed by collaborative communities of programmers.

Common examples of open source software include the Firefox web browser and the Android operating system.

Windows and macOS are not open-source operating systems.

How Much Money Do Open Software Maintainers Make In 2022?

Maintainers of major Open source projects can earn a full-time income from a combination of salaries, donations, and other financial contributions.

For example, the median salary for maintainers of the top 10 most active Open source projects is $95,000.

In addition, Open source maintainers can earn an average of $12,000 per year in donations.

Furthermore, many organizations are willing to pay maintainers for their expertise, with rates ranging from $50 to $200 per hour.

As a result, maintainers of popular Open source projects can expect to earn a significant income in 2022.

What Qualifications Do I Need To Be A Good Open Source Software Maintainer?

While some people might think that being a maintainer of open source software requires nothing more than a basic understanding of coding, the reality is that many qualifications and skills are essential for success in this role.

First and foremost, maintainers need to have a strong grasp of the programming language or languages used by the software they are responsible for.

They also need to be familiar with the codebase and be able to navigate it quickly and easily.

In addition, maintainers need to be able to communicate effectively with other developers and users, as well as have a good understanding of how to use version control systems such as Git.

While not every maintainer needs to possess all of these qualifications, the more skills and knowledge a maintainer has, the better they will be able to perform their role.

What Is The Easiest and Best Way To Make Money As An Open Software Maintainer?

The easiest and best way to make money as an open software maintainer is to create a sustainable funding model.

This can be done through a variety of means, such as charging for access to the software, setting up a donation system, or offering paid support packages.

By creating a sustainable funding model, maintainers can ensure that they will be able to continue to work on the software long into the future.

Furthermore, this will also allow them to create a more comprehensive and polished product, as they will have the resources necessary to invest in development and testing.

In short, sustainable funding is the key to success for open software maintainers.

How To Make Money As An Open Source Software Maintainer.

1. Get hired by an Open Source Software company.

While open source software is typically developed by volunteers in their spare time, several companies specialize in developing and maintaining open source software.

These companies usually hire experienced open-source software developers and provide them with the resources they need to work on the project full-time.

In return, the companies receive a portion of the software’s licensing fees.

As a result, working for an open-source software company is one way for experienced developers to make a living from their work on open-source projects.

2. Contribute to Open Source projects in your spare time.

Working on open-source projects in your spare time is a great way to make money as an open-source software maintainer.

By contributing to popular projects, you can create a name for yourself and attract potential employers.

Additionally, many companies are willing to pay handsomely for bug fixes and new features.

As a result, working on open source projects can be a lucrative way to earn extra income.


3. Showcase your skills and knowledge on websites like Stack Overflow and GitHub.

Many people work on open source projects in their spare time, but some make a living by maintaining open source projects.

One way they can do this is by showcasing their skills and knowledge on websites like Stack Overflow and GitHub.

By answering questions and helping others solve problems, maintainers can demonstrate their expertise to potential employers or clients.

In addition, by sharing their code on GitHub, they can show off their programming skills and attract the attention of potential collaborators.

By making themselves visible on these platforms, open-source software maintainers can increase their chances of finding paid work.

Consequently, showcasing your skills and knowledge on websites like Stack Overflow and GitHub is a good way to make money as an open-source software maintainer.

4. Offer training and consulting services for Open Source projects.

Another way that open source software maintainers can make money is by offering training and consulting services around the project.

This could involve teaching others how to use and contribute to the project, providing support for companies who are using the project or helping to develop new features or products.

By offering these services, maintainers can tap into a larger market and generate revenue from their work on open-source projects.

This can be a sustainable way to support oneself as an open source developer, and it also helps to grow the community around a project.

5. Write articles and blog posts about Open Source Software development.

While many open-source software developers do not directly profit from their work, there are several ways that they can earn money through their contributions.

One common way is to write articles and blog posts about open-source software development.

By sharing their knowledge and expertise, developers can attract new users and developers to their projects, which can in turn lead to increased donations or other forms of financial support.

In addition, writing about open source software can also help to improve the visibility of a project, which can attract new contributors and customers.

As a result, writing about open source software development is a great way for developers to earn money while also promoting their projects.

6. Create a Patron account to solicit donations from users or businesses.

By creating a Patron account, open source software maintainers can solicit donations from individuals or businesses.

This is a simple and effective way to generate revenue, as it does not require the exchange of goods or services.

Moreover, it allows supporters of open source software to directly contribute to the development of their favorite tools.

In this way, Patron accounts provide a win-win solution for both maintainers and users of open-source software.

7. Write a book about open source software maintenance and sell copies online.

Another way that an open source software maintainer can make money is by writing a book about open source software maintenance and selling copies online.

This provides a valuable resource for those who wish to learn more about the topic, and it also generates income for the author.

In addition, the author can choose to sell advertising space in the book, which can further increase their earnings.


In conclusion, making money as an open-source software maintainer is possible.

There are several ways to do this, and the best way to find out what works for you is to experiment.

The most important thing is to be active in your community and build relationships with people who can help you spread the word about your project.

Thank you for reading!

Also read: 12 Top Website Maintenance Tips To Keep Your Site Running Smoothly.

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