Open Source communities are as vibrant as the participants within them – as with any community, your return is proportional to your investment. An example of someone who is intuitively aware of this is Bas Brands. In an interview for Moodlerooms’ E-Learn Magazine, he tells his experience of sustaining a lifelong relationship with Moodle’s Open Source community, while makes a name for himself and a learning company with alluring prospects.
With more than ten plugins and themes in the Moodle Directory, Brands has made sure he gives back to Moodle at least a fraction of what Moodle has given to him and his career. Every new assignment is an opportunity to turn development into an open source solution available to anyone. Alas, it is not always possible:
«[E]ach project deciding if the outcome or code can be shared depends on a number of factors. Is it generic enough, and can it benefit other users? Is the client willing to share this with the world?»
Perhaps Brands’ biggest gift has been Don’t Memorise, a Moodle-based video learning platform targeted to children. He hopes to keep maintaining and improving the portal through a model that remains open. He seems confident to believe individuals, along with both commercial and non-profit organizations, will stand up to the task, as they have been doing with Moodle for more than a decade.