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How did you get your first job in open-source?

I have graduated with a 2:1 Masters of Engineering in the UK. I am now looking for recent-graduate entry level jobs. I have been involved in Ubuntu development during my spare time over the past years. My current job hunt hasn't been successful yet. So i want to ask:

How did you get your first job in open-source?

I have experience in C/Python/Gtk programming, Ubuntu/Debian Deb packaging as well as Fedora/openSUSE RPM packaging, autotools/CMake/distutils, git/bzr/svn. I am looking for internship, entry level job with prospects of future full-time employment. Ideal position is an open-source C/Python developer on Linux as part of an experienced team. Location: UK, EU, Russia.

This is my story =) Share your story with me!

attach. CV


  1. Im in the same boat as you really if you talk with some people that you know in the open source world they can pull some strings for you.

  2. The thing helped me most was writing code and making it public available (a public repository with a web interface works really well).

    It's true that if you need a work NOW, investing time in all this OSS background can be a little bit hard, but at the end it'll pay you back.

  3. My story started with a non-paid 6 month internship in a company I was targeting. The important thing is work where YOU want to work and where you feel challenged, (but in a fun way).

    The internship gave me the experience I needed, a good overview of the position I wanted in the company and what was required. It also showed others that money was not an object and that I was interested in the project and dedicated to the cause.

    Make yourself useful and helpful to others. his will allow people to count on you and refer to you for advice. When you feel ready, apply for an available opportunity or have one created.

    Good luck!

  4. The following might help, saw it on PlanetKDE

    "Codethink is hiring"

  5. My first unpaid internship with FOSS happened when an adjunct professor who worked at a newspaper for his dayjob found me on Facebook looking for a programmer who was interested in politics, so he'd have an intern to work on maintaining the political parts of the website.

    My first *paid* FOSS job happened when I spoke at a conference and then made up all the trivia questions that were stumping everyone at the after-party. A couple guys came up and started asking about my contributions and my presentation. I showed them my slides and my kernel patch, talked a little about bug triaging in Ubuntu, and when they got home from the conference they went to their manager and told him he should hire me.

    (These were while I was still in uni.)

    I just finished my degree too and quit my job and moved back to my hometown, so now I'm looking for a new one here, preferably involving more FOSS than the last.


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