Software development is the ultimate post-industrial craft. Armed with nothing but a laptop, a pot of coffee and a place to hack, a developer can turn a great idea from a notebook into a successful business enterprise or a beautiful work of art. Clients too realize the immense difference between great programmers and merely adequate ones. And the best programmers are prolific contributors to the free and open source community.
But why are so many companies afraid to work with great freelance talent? In How to Make Wealth, Paul Graham describes how easy it is to produce wealth with a good idea and a lot of hard work. The web, virtual servers, app stores and open source software have made it so that the initial cost to create wealth is so low, there's little reason not to give it a try. And most of all, there's an ever-increasing number of great clients who demand only the best talent.
In fact, neither party — hackers nor clients — can do it alone. That's because no software package stands alone - we all use libraries, templates, snippets and styles that we borrow from one other. Free and open source software and social coding on GitHub have shown us that we all benefit from developing out in the open. If you need a piece of code, then it's more than likely that there are hundreds of other hackers and clients out there who want the same thing for their own projects. Code is wealth - share it and we all benefit (and get richer).