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Contribute to Assembla development to earn money, glory, and get the feature you want

Posted by Andy Singleton on January 17, 2010 12:05:00 PM

We want to get YOU involved in the development of new Assembla.com features with a new bounty development program that offers money (up to $10K per enhancement), glory (your logo, link, and blurb on your feauture), and a chance to get the feature that you want.

Some of my colleaues and customers have thought that I was crazy to open up the code and development process on our commercial product, but now it's clear that you can help us, and we should be even more aggressive about sharing and crowdsourcing.

Read the Assembla Development site for details about our technology and offer.  Read the Project Ideas page for a list of projects that we want to invest in.

Why would you want to do this?

  • Bounty payments, up to $10K.  We have a better budget than most open source projects, and we support the idea of paying developers fairly.  Although we are a small, bootstrapped company, this bounty offer is a lot better than many big-brand offers.  We don't force you into a "contest" where you might not get paid.  If you submit a good proposal, we will commit to you as a development partner.

  • Promote yourself. For as long as you maintain the tool, you can add your logo, link, and a line of text on the bottom.

  • Get what you want.  Share your expertise as an Assembla user.  If there is something missing or inconvenient about Assembla.com, you can implement it correctly.

Assembla is a relatively complex Ruby on Rails application, so you need to be able to work in that environment.  But, you can build "tools" (additional tabs) without installing the repositories and other external applications, and we even created a script that you can run to generate the skeleton of a new "tool".  We provide documentation to set up a development environment on Linux, Windows, and Mac systems.

Why are we doing this?  Assembla is committed to offering best-of-breed features for ticketing, repositories, and event streams.  We believe that our core team needs to focus on providing these features, at high quality, in a scalable and reliable way.  We can provide other tools with high quality, but only if we outsource development and maintenance of these tools to partners with more specific expertise.

In addition to being a showcase for individual developers, this bounty program is also a good way to work with outsourcing companies.  We frequently get calls from outsourcing companies that respond to our developer job ads,and want to work on some of our Assembla projects.  We don't accept these offers because we have found that it is difficult to qualify top individual developers this way.  However, this bounty program allows you to qualify and manage developers in your own process, and show off your capabilities.

Thanks for your ideas and suggestions.

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About the author

Andy SingletonWorking on Continuous Agile and Accelerating Innovation, Assembla CEO and startup founder

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