Blagging open source coding joy on company time, problem or not?

Evans Data’s latest Open Source Software Development Survey claims to have found that sixty-seven percent of developers who write open source applications say they spend at least part of the time writing them at work even though they are not work related.

But is this a problem?

Surely using the tools, components and other elements of any open source development platform leads the developer to greater proficiency, which in turn, translates to more contributions and commits to the wider open source code base as a whole – which in turn will benefit the company that is using the open source tools themselves to build a commercial offering. Right?

Evans Data says that sixteen percent spend more than half their time at work writing non-work related open source applications while 33% never use their employers’ time for their projects according to over 350 software developers working on open source projects.

“It may be a discouraging thing for employers to hear but developers working on open source projects can become very involved with them and may find it hard to completely leave them alone when they’re on the clock,” said Janel Garvin, CEO of Evans Data. “Few open source developers make much money from their apps – – sixty-five percent report they make next to nothing for their open source work and they have to support themselves.”

Still, they get their projects done says Evans. Sixty-seven percent said their last project was either on time or ahead of schedule, with only a third being behind schedule.

The complete list of contents for the survey can be found here.