Free and open source software has become a critical part of the modern economy, says the Linux Foundation. At the same time, however, there is a lack of maintenance and there is also a need for improvement in terms of security, for which the foundation sees companies in particular as having a responsibility. Especially external contributors, usually IT companies and users with IT departments, could get more involved with audits and bug fixing, wish open source developers.
93% male, mostly from Europe or the USA
The 2020 edition of the FOSS Contributor SurveyFOSS Contributor Survey, themed "How can we improve the maintenance and security of the most widely used open source projects??" underpins some prejudices, but also provides reliable facts and statistics on the motivation and origins of the independent developer community.
The majority of OSS developers (93% male) are located in Europe (EMEA, 53%) and the Americas (35%), with the United States (28%), Germany (12%), and France (7%) accounting for the largest share of the survey participants. 37% are employed in software development, 17% in system administration, 7% each in "Technology Hardware" or financial and insurance services. Most are employed full time, about half are paid by their employer for their OSS work – 64 percent of US participants, 59 percent of German participants are paid for their FOSS work.