Re: OPW; Where does the 500$ for each GSoC goes?

hi Michael;

On 15 September 2014 00:45, Michael Catanzaro <mcatanzaro gnome org> wrote:
On Sun, 2014-09-14 at 16:41 +0100, Emmanuele Bassi wrote:
raised 40 thousand dollars on a part time system administrator, and
that's a fraction of the cost of a full time developer.

$40,000 is a reasonable salary for a full-time American developer, as
long as he's not located someplace with a stupid cost of living like San
Francisco or New York or LA. Of course it's not a competitive salary,
but we're a nonprofit and it would be wasteful for us to pay a
competitive salary. It's not like we're competing for talent....

that's not really a competitive salary for an experience developer,
since we're talking about improving the developer experience of the
platform. it may be barely enough for a part time developer, like it's
barely enough for a part time system administrator (we were very lucky
to have Andrea cover the role), but for a full time employee you're
ignoring the fact that a salary before taxes translates to at least
1.5x to 2.5x the cost for the employer, depending on the geographical
location of the Foundation and of the employee. since the Foundation
is in the US, it would also imply a lot of administrative costs in
order to employ somebody who's not US based, and who may be able to
ask for less.

in short: 40k dollars of Foundation money do not even remotely cover a
full time employee.

Anyway, I don't think that hiring one developer would necessarily be the
best use of our money. We're very fortunate that Red Hat already hires
lots of developers who work on GNOME software. What we could do is
identify particular areas in need of development, and sponsor contract
work on those areas, as we did (or are planning to do) with the
accessibility and privacy campaigns.

Red Hat (and many other companies) pay their employees for their own
benefit, not for GNOME. GNOME is part of the core business of various
companies, and we're lucky that those companies allow their employees
to work upstream first, when they have no obligation to do so.

what we *can* do is ask advisory board members to volunteer some
company time for some of their employees.

we can also have public bids for working on specific areas of
interests — like we did for accessibility and privacy — and those bids
can be answered by companies and individuals. the issue, at that
point, becomes defining goals and deliverables, in order to award the

if anybody has an idea for a specific fund raising drive to improve
the DX, with a list of key areas and a list of concrete deliverables,
then I am absolutely sure that the board will work on making it

(On that note, it's been a year
since we collected the privacy campaign money; I guess we still have no
clue what we're doing with it? :)

finding deliverables and finding people capable of defining them in an
actionable way proved to be a real challenge. the last time I was
involved with it, it seemed that the board found some potential
candidates. I'll let somebody on the current board elaborate.


[ ] ebassi [ gmail com]

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