It probably will for some, but you don’t want it to be your primary income source until you can afford some form of financial retirement. It’s a skill that you need for survival (which is another reason we love free software) so you’ll really have a chance of being happy with it. Your work (or the work of a friend/coworker) might be a net positive to the company, but your income-generation efforts will be a distraction to you and your colleagues, and will put down many obstacles to the productivity and stability of your career. If you use a free software solution, there is zero risk that you’ll be spending all your time or energy on it. The quality of software will not depend on your own work ethic, and it shouldn’t have to: you can choose the software based on your professional judgment. If your professional interests are aligned more with commercial software, you may feel more comfortable with commercial software as well. If you’re not sure, let us know in the comments and we’ll be glad to explain.
What about free software in academia?
If you’ve decided to stay in academia and can’t live without professional help with your career, you might be thinking about contributing to your research for free. This is a great option for people with less time or money to spare. Here is a list of universities (and other organisations) that offer free help for students, postdocs or postdoctoral fellows with their research:
Other Free Tools
Another option is to use free software for personal development in your own company. There are hundreds of tutorials, tutorials, and other resources on the web (even this one) that are suitable for you: You can even download and use the free software yourself, rather than waiting for a commercial one. This approach is called “open source development”, and is the basis for this list of other free services, which will give you a great overview of the most popular open source solutions.
If you prefer, you can do work that is more fun for you – there are plenty of websites that provide activities geared toward the creative side of the work, from writing games to designing web sites. Just remember that if you are happy with your job now, you probably won’t want to start something new afterwards.
The list of free software available for everyone does help, but it is hard to cover everything that might interest you. Here’s the best list we’ve gathered, and here’s another, more general list of free services:
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