[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Somebody has posted an article about GNU Herds

From: GNU Herds work team
Subject: Somebody has posted an article about GNU Herds
Date: Thu, 27 Sep 2007 22:11:26 +0200
User-agent: KMail/1.9.5

Hash: SHA1

GNU Herds: The Job Site with a Free Software focus

- -- Copy & Paste:

People interested in offering and seeking jobs specifically related to Free 
Software might find the GNU Herds project interesting...

Suppose your business is focused on Free Software solutions. Or maybe you want 
a job developing Free Software. Sure, you could try one of the thousands of 
recruiting businesses. The problem is, you might wind up in a position that 
has little or nothing to do with Free Software. The people you want to hire 
may not share your commitment to Free Software. You might try networking 
within the GNU Herds Free Software Association, a project aimed at bringing 
together individuals and businesses for whom Free Software is more than just 
a development model.

GNU Herds lists a handful of business models on their home page, one of which 
is one I have mentioned frequently in discussions about business models. The 
Flexible Business Network is closely in line with what I have suggested as a 
possible business model for a libre-oriented Microsoft (should work for any 
company). Rather than have a gargantuan monopolist enterprise, the libre 
business model quite literally drives business into a less structured, more 
flexible entity - a network.

In a conversation with my sister-in-law (some time ago now), she asked how 
Microsoft would survive as a libre software company, if it chose that route. 
I quickly pointed out that it would not - and should not survive as it exists 
now. It must change. I pointed out that most businesses should focus on 
developing partnerships in order to be able to handle the 'big' orders. The 
smaller entities could survive much better independently, and simultaneously 
collaborate and compete with each other on business opportunities. I referred 
to "alliances", rather than "networks", but the latter is probably more 

Back many moons ago - o.k., would you believe centuries, Chief? - villages had 
people who used their talents to help each other out. Think of the village 
blacksmith, for example. The farmer and builder relied on the blacksmith for 
horseshoes and tools, while he relied on them for his house and food. Right. 
That's just good sound economics in play. But people began combining 
resources to accomplish bigger and better things. Now fast forward back to 
the present.

Suppose you run a small development shop. Maybe it's just you, or you and one 
or two other people. A 500-employee company wants you to develop a project 
for them - and stipulates you must also provide support. But you don't have 
the manpower for that. So you call up someone in your network who can. 
They're familiar with your software anyway, as they've worked with you 
before. Now you're "big enough" to handle the larger company's needs. Still, 
once the project is over, each organization is still able to seek out new 
opportunities without the inevitable layoffs, etc.

Of course, Microsoft not only works with development and support partners, 
they offer their own services as well. In my model, they would spin off this 
group into smaller entities, who could then continue to work as they always 
have, albeit with a bit of management overhead. That actually might reduce 
the management overhead, since their is no longer a need to run something 
through multiple levels of management for approval.

Now, GNU Herds is an interesting concept, since the association could 
essentially act as a clearinghouse for projects to be organized and staffed - 
a sort of network incubator, if you will. Rather than simply expect people to 
submit resumes and apply for jobs, GNU Herds could help businesses and 
individuals connect to collaborate on available projects. All the usual 
jobhunting goes on as normal, but also the exchange of offers and bids.

The aim of GNU Herds is "to assist and encourage people in their paid work as 
Free Software authors, getting the highest levels of competence and 
efficiency." The association is global in scope, seeks to make it easy for 
businesses and individuals interested in Free Software as a business model to 
communicate and seeks to support a variety of business models, as a matter of 

And GNU Herds is, indeed, a rare bird. Namely, it is controlled, not by a 
particular entity, but by its members. To become a member, you must 
demonstrate some contribution to the Free Software community, though I did 
not see the specifics of that on the website. The bottom line is, it appears 
to be organized for, and aiming to offer, jobhunting, professional networking 
and business development - all in one fell swoop. If they offer tools akin to 
Hiitch, I suspect they will draw quite a crowd.

The site appears to be in need of some additional English participants, namely 
to assist with the English language translation of the site. That said, the 
site is available in six languages. And the site could use a bit of marketing 
work as well - something to entice people into joining. The only job offers 
appear to be demonstrations, but I did not register - at least not yet. So I 
don't know what might be hidden to the un-registered. To be fair, the site 
displays a notice of being at the beta stage, so it is not very far along in 
its progress.

All in all, it appears to be an interesting project, and one I want to keep an 
eye on. I think Free Software is vitally important to sustaining our 
progress. I also think we need a set of tools to help develop and sustain the 
development of a Free Software economy. The Free Software Foundation promotes 
Free Software. Now, here's a site that seeks to help people get paid to write 
Free Software. It's just one more tool in the Free Software community's box.
Version: GnuPG v1.4.6 (GNU/Linux)


reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]