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    Is it still “unpaid overtime” if most of my open-source contributions are for problems I’ve solved for myself, rather than those I’ve solved for a company?

    I guess it’s technically unpaid work for my own project, but so is everything else on my own projects. Programming was a hobby for me until I started working professionally, so there’s lots of code up there that I just wrote because I wanted to or because I needed to. A person with a previous passion in programming, to the point that they feel comfortable releasing their code, seems like a legitimate candidate for a company who believes open-source contributors are the “best of the best” in their field.

    Whether that is true or not is an argument somewhat out of scope for this comment, but I personally enjoy working with people who have previous experience contributing open-source code, and it really has nothing to do with what they look like. People who manage OSS projects are familiar with concepts like pull requests, proper branching techniques, and typically are very good with Git. At my company, we use Git but it’s a challenge sometimes to get my co-workers up to speed with the way we should be running our projects. On that factor alone, I feel that a dev hire who has prior experience managing projects like this is a major win for our team.

    At the same time, I do feel that you’re doing yourself a disservice whenever you draw a line in the sand like that…“we will only accept open-source contributors”, “we will only accept programmers who have prior testing experience”, etc. Unless they are preventing us from seeing things we need to see before an interview (such as code samples from previous jobs), there should be nothing that precludes us from at least having a meeting and talking with the guy (or girl).

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      Is it still “unpaid overtime” if most of my open-source contributions are for problems I’ve solved for myself, rather than those I’ve solved for a company?

      Yes, if it’s expected that you work on things outside of work and you don’t get paid for them, I’ll class that as unpaid overtime.

      Whether that is true or not is an argument somewhat out of scope for this comment, but I personally enjoy working with people who have previous experience contributing open-source code, and it really has nothing to do with what they look like.

      Sadly, it does have to do with what they look like.

      If you’re choosing to hire using open-source experience, you’re biasing to people who look like men because people who look like women are even more underrepresented in open-source than just the software industry itself (like 25x less represented).

      Sure, you’re not directly choosing to hire men, just indirectly preferring them.

      At my company, we use Git but it’s a challenge sometimes to get my co-workers up to speed with the way we should be running our projects.

      Try to be more direct. Hire people with Git experience, not out-of-work GitHub experience.

      At the same time, I do feel that you’re doing yourself a disservice whenever you draw a line in the sand like that…

      It doesn’t even have to be a line in the sand. Many people use it as a multiplier, giving people advantages just because they have spare time outside of work. That has nothing to do with them being a good employee.

      Truth is that looking at GitHub is very easy. Hiring is usually difficult. Hiring based on GitHub makes hiring easy by sacrificing the size and diversity of the hiring pool. Not a good solution, right?

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        It doesn’t even have to be a line in the sand. Many people use it as a multiplier, giving people advantages just because they have spare time outside of work. That has nothing to do with them being a good employee.

        Truth is that looking at GitHub is very easy. Hiring is usually difficult. Hiring based on GitHub makes hiring easy by sacrificing the size and diversity of the hiring pool. Not a good solution, right?

        I think we can both agree on the fact that basing your hiring based on a single factor, GitHub or anything else really, is a practice that has proved its idiocy time and time again. That said, I don’t find anything wrong with noting open-source code as a “+1” when hiring. I don’t think it should be the only reason why a company hires programmers, but I do think it should be a valid practice to consider open-source contributions in a hiring decision.

        edit:

        Yes, if it’s expected that you work on things outside of work and you don’t get paid for them

        Judging by my coworkers contributions to open-source in almost all of the companies I’ve worked for (most of them have done no such thing), I would say it’s not really an expectation but is definitely a good thing to have on your resume.