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Do Volunteer Programmers Produce Better Code?


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Credit: Fabric

Those who love Linux and other free and open source software are  well-acquainted with the many benefits of FOSS: flexibility, security, customizability and freedom from vendor lock-in, to name a few.

Quality is another big one, at least in part because there are typically so many people around the globe constantly improving the code.

There may also be another reason behind that superior quality, however. Specifically, it was recently suggested that volunteer programmers actually write better code than paid ones do.  Why? "One word: Dilbert," wrote Carla Schroder in a recent story on LXer. "It's not that devs who work for big companies have inferior skills — it's all the roadblocks businesses put in the way of the people who care about the work: the marketers, the useless in-the-way managers, the corporate goals which are so often antithetical to releasing quality products that customers like." And she wasn't finished. 

"There is another reason for volunteers writing better code . . . reputation," she added. "FOSS developers sign their work; there is nowhere to hide."

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