August 23, 2021 by Drew DeVault

SourceHut is hiring FOSS software engineers

This opening is now closed. Please check back again later for future openings. Thanks!

SourceHut is hiring paid software engineers to work exclusively on free and open source software. This is a full-time remote position. Our mission is simple:

We are here to make free software better. We will be honest, transparent, and empathetic. We care for our users, and we will not exploit them, and we hope that they will reward our care and diligence with success.

SourceHut is a ragtag group of hacker’s hackers, but note that we will have to be decidedly un-hackish when explaining things in business terms. Bear with us.

SourceHut is an early-stage bootstrapped company, which means that we are a young company that hasn’t taken any outside investments. This gives us greater autonomy and allows us to maintain our principles and ethics without deference to financial concerns. However, we have much less capital to work with, and stringent margins, which may affect you.

We have two main revenue streams: the forge product, and FOSS consulting. The forge product provides a reliable, but small, supply of income. We use this to pay out base salaries which are, frankly, well below market rates. We each earn a standard rate of $2,500 USD/mo, which may be supplemented with consulting work. Under the base arrangement, you are free to decide your own working schedule and choose any FOSS projects to work on.

Per the missive of “making free software better”, those projects can include projects which are not stewarded by SourceHut or directly relevant to our financial interests. We make regular contributions to a wide variety of projects in the FOSS ecosystem which have little to no direct relevance to our bottom line. We believe that by growing the FOSS ecosystem, we are making a larger market, and are making ourselves an essential part of it, which will play out in our favor (and in society’s favor) over the long term. You can work on your personal projects at SourceHut, and we encourage you to take bold risks on ambitious projects.

Our secondary income stream is through free software consulting, which provides us much more revenue than the forge, but less reliably. 100% of this work is free and open source software, written in the open. We don’t sign NDAs or non-competes. We take on 2-5 contracts per year, each lasting anywhere from 3-12 months, and you may choose which consulting projects you wish to work on. We charge high-end consulting rates, take a modest margin, and pay the rest to you. Our margin provides more capital for things like hiring new employees, expanding the forge infrastructure, long-term business planning, or simply paying out bonuses at the end of an engagement.

You have the level of autonomy and independence which best supports your needs. We have, at a minimum, bi-weekly open-ended 1-on-1 meetings, and a monthly all-hands meeting. Beyond this, the level of autonomy you enjoy is based on your need: our senior engineers get by with a vague missive of “make FOSS better” or “can you help with this one thing if you have time”, while more junior engineers may receive more structured work to provide better learning and experience.

In short, at SourceHut, you work on free and open source software, on the projects you want, on the schedule you want, and with the independence of judgement that respects you as an experienced, knowsome engineer. You work with smart and supportive peers on meaningful projects for an ethical business and a principled team. However, you receive a meager base salary, which, when combined with optional consulting work, can raise your annual pay to market, but with an inconsistency which may impact your personal financial planning. This is an arrangement which cannot suit everyone, but if it suits you, we’ll be pleased to have you along.

If you are interested in working with us, please send a plain-text email summarizing your interest, with your resume attached as a PDF file, to ~sircmpwn/