Living as a FLOSS hacker

libre software, mswl, mswl-cases, mswl-comm, mswl-devmotiv, mswl-intro

Hi folks!!!!

Today I’m going to continue writing about an interesting study case, the hacker lifestyle (how to live as a free software hacker)!!! Sounds good isn’t it?? 😉

This talk was driven by Rodrigo Moya an active Gnome developer and who is working actually at Collabora.

So, here we go!!

Rodrigo explain about how he started to work as software developer, he thought he didn’t know a lot and he started to work in a typical Spanish outsourcing company (yeah in my country they don’t know about startups, R&D, etc. just consultancy, etc.)
In his company he saw how many people who had a university degree didn’t know about what is a library, or a source control management system (scm), etc. so he thought about he didn’t know a lot.. changed quickly…

He moved around other companies more or less of the same scope.

In that ages Rodrigo also was collaborating in Gnome, and one day (6-1-2001) the company Helix Code (later Ximian) contacted him about he wanted to work with them, he didn’t doubt about it no matter the working hours, salary, etc.

He was working there (at Ximian) since 2001 until 2003.

In that company Rodrigo worked with one of the most important and great developers of the Gnome project (and maybe the world?) Miguel de Icaza and Federico Mena between others.

Ximian was sold to Novell and the interests of Novell didn’t was the same that Ximian had in its origin.

In 2009 Rodrigo was fired from Novell.

After that he started to work in Canonical.

In Canonical he worked in interesting and non interesting projects, he switched from Ubuntu One team to the Ubuntu Desktop team.

He thought he could to change somethings in Canonical about its collaboration between them and other Gnome projects but we didn’t was happy.

Was a problem the different criteria between Canonical and Gnome guys.

After Canonical he started to work as Collabora.


  1. In the FLOSS  world is relatively easy to find a job about the project in which you are working.
  2. The work environment is much better. The flexibility is really good in comparison with other more usual companies.
  3. Maybe working in FLOSS companies you can earn less money than others or another kind of companies.

Working at home

It’s different to carry well this kind of work from your home it’s a good idea you follow a set of directives:

  • Wake up and do the same things if you was working outside.
  • It’s a good idea go to work to other places.
  • It’s really important to have a special room for work.
  • Do exercise outside.

For a complete list of good things to follow, Rodrigo recommends Teo Romera’s post (in Spanish), an old known guy from LibreSoft (he gave me the last year a subject as a teacher) who is actually working at Igalia at home.


1- Have you had problems regarding possibles NDA or confidentiality?

No, he always has been working with projects completely FLOSS, at least his own work.

2- The previous question regarding different roles they have that problem?

Maybe yes, translators, marketing, etc.

3- Your collaboration level when you work for a company is lower than when you work in your down time?

Yeah it often happens, because when you work in a FLOSS project hired by a company your develop time is usually in your work and when you work for a non FLOSS company, then you spend time in your down time to develop in FLOSS projects.

Also it depends of the necessities of the company sometimes you are working in a project and then your company moves you to another position so then your collaboration with the old project decreases.

4- You have said about there are a lot of FLOSS companies, but where are them??

Yeah, there are a lot of companies which work using FLOSS but there aren’t a lot which understand really good how the FLOSS works.

5- Do you think the way to work abroad is better than here in Spain?

Absolutely 😉 (and I corroborate his opinion)

6- In which company Ximian (Novell) or Canonical you found a better collaboration with the community?

Canonical, without doubts.

7- Do you think the good environment or way to do the things in FLOSS companies in comparison with other kind of software companies is regarding these companies come with another kind of culture?

Yeah, he thinks the FLOSS culture has much to see with this kind of way to work, from your home, with liberty, etc.

8- In the project you are working is FLOSS but why this kind of darkness why is it due?

It’s just because they are in a design and configuration phase, but just now the code is available.

9- You said is easy to find a job in FLOSS company, why do you think this?

Because maybe there is more offer than demand.
10- Which is your better contribution in Gnome?

Maybe Evolution, where he was working on it several years.

11- What do you think about KDE?

He knows a lot of people in KDE, but the philosophy is not the same sometimes, he thinks they should talk, contribute and share things together much more.

12- How do you see FLOSS in the academic world?

He knows LibreSoft in deep, but apart of that he doesn’t know much more.
He thinks FLOSS in the universities should be close to mandatory to start FLOSS in the whole administration and country.

And that’s all my friends, I recommend strongly if you have enough time watch this video, it’s really interesting and pleasant.

You can find the video here.

See u!!


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