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Does experience of open source project development help to career?

 
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I have been working as J2EE developer for more than 3 years. However, I do not think my company provides many opportunity to learn new technology as she is very conservative. After compared my classmates working as developer, I feel a little be behind and my 3 years exp seems gain me nothing. What is the best way to gain extra experience apart from work? I am thinking about working on OS project but I wonder if my next employer would consider that as a working experience.

Is anyone here are full-time employee and also working on OS project as well? Why do you guys spend time on that? Let's share your motivation.
 
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Wilson Oak wrote:What is the best way to gain extra experience apart from work?


Answer questions at a site like JavaRanch. (or read the answers.) Granted this is a bit self serving to the site we are on, but it is true. You gain experience in a very focused way by reading about problems and solutions.

Wilson Oak wrote:I am thinking about working on OS project but I wonder if my next employer would consider that as a working experience.


It absolutely helps for the next job - it shows you are interested enough in technology to want to program in your free time.

Wilson Oak wrote:Is anyone here are full-time employee and also working on OS project as well? Why do you guys spend time on that? Let's share your motivation.


The JavaRanch forum migration and subsequent work might not have been open source, but they were a whole pile of unpaid volunteer work. Why did I do it? It's fun and it's interesting.
 
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Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:. . . Why did I do it? . . .

It keeps us up to date. It allows others to correct our errors and improve our programming skills.
 
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