Are there any Java open source projects that Pays the developers?

I came across this from a book : Programming Interviews Exposed. Page #25

Are open-source projects preferable?

The vast majority of programming jobs have usually involved proprietary, closed-source projects, which some programmers find objectionable. There’s been a small shift in favor of more open software development, which provides more opportunities for people like yourself to participate in open-source projects and still be paid for that participation.

4 Answers 4


Bounties & Rewards

Many open source projects offer bounties for fixing certain bugs:

Others are sponsored by individual donations or 3rd-parties:

Open-Source Commercial and Non-Commercial Software Positions

Some open-source projects (open-source does not imply free software) are sponsored and managed and they have full-time employees working on these. These could include:

  • RedHat (Linux, some Java-related development like GCJ contributions, past contributions from their members to known open-source projects for internal work, etc...)
  • Sun/Oracle (OpenJDK, MySQL, and many related community projects)
  • Google (many of their open-source libraries have full-time teams, Chromium, Android...)

While this may not why you originally had in mind, they are indeed open-source projects, and they do have people being paid to work on them.

  • 1
    Beat me to the "List Answer" :P
    – Dynamic
    Jul 10, 2012 at 2:11

I don't think that quotation is referring to the project paying people to support it.

It appears to be referring to companies that pay engineers to contribute to open source projects as part of their normal duties. I have seen job posts to this effect. A company might provide paid time to staff to provide contributions back to open-source projects that it uses, typically to fix defects, add enhancements, or create documentation that the company needs or finds valuable.

Another possible meaning could be companies that release some of their products as open source software. Companies like Google and Facebook have done this. These products are not their core products, but were started internally to support a core product (often not released as an open source project) and then released to the public. Someone on the staff might be responsible for overseeing the open source project and even contributing to it, and would be getting paid for this work.

  • 1
    They are still doing it and not only for marginal projects. Google Chrome is a pretty important product of Google and it has lots of paid developers. Jul 10, 2012 at 9:23
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    @fish Google Chrome is not an open source project. Chromium is the open source product. Chrome has closed source components. It's also not a central product to Google as compared to things like Search.
    – Thomas Owens
    Jul 10, 2012 at 9:25
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    Google Chrome is stable Chromium builds plus proprietary plugins (flash, h264). Google devs do work on Chromium. Jul 10, 2012 at 9:40
  • Chromium falls into the second category of products. The core Google products are their web services (Search, Gmail, YouTube, etc.) - these are what drives Google's business. They pay engineers to maintain Chrome (and contribute some of their content to Chromium) in order to provide a better experience to their web services. By controlling the browser, they can do more to improve their services. This is further backed up by the addition of ads promoting Google Chrome when you visit Google pages in other browsers.
    – Thomas Owens
    Jul 10, 2012 at 11:19
  • The phrase "and contribute some of their content to Chromium" is completely wrong, Chromium is exactly like Chrome except for a few proprietary plugins. Chrome is just a special build of Chromium with these extra plugins. Just run 'svn log src.chromium.org/chrome' and you'll see a lot of @google.com commiters. Dec 19, 2012 at 1:40

Just adding to other awesome answers

if you are a student you can get paid for contribution by participating in Google Summer of Code. Google pays you to work for one of the accepted Open Source organization and many of them are based on Java.

Out of the 180 Accepted orgs about 40 had java projects this year


In addition to @haylem's fairly comprehensive answer, there's also the contribution of academics to open-source development, where the University they work for - or grant support - pays for the development of software and often encourages or mandates that the developed software be made publicly available in some form.

R, for example, has a tremendous amount of open-source support from academics writing software, as do the scientific computing portions of the greater Python ecosystem.

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