On the Snappy blog Alyssa Mazzina writes about giving back to open source and how companies can help the movement:
We all profit from these tools. We depend on them. It’s our responsibility to improve them, and it’s just good business to improve them. -Ian Landsman
Alyssa goes on to say:
UserScape gives back to the open source community with hours, by giving our developers the time and support to create freely. Any software company can do this, by actively hiring developers who contribute to open source, and encouraging them to continue doing so. Other ways to support include straight monetary donations, or, if you have the skill, contributing code directly to open source projects.
You can donate to or purchase from the individual developers who build the tools you use for free. Many of them write books you can buy to read or donate, or maintain podcasts, blogs, and newsletters that need sponsors.
And of course, you can help by working with companies that support open source, by using the products that pay for that work.
I’m sure you are aware creating something open source is hugely time consuming. The more popular it becomes the more time it takes. I feel like the tide is shifting in the software world where more and more companies are giving back. I think that’s great and something we all benefit from.