If you’re using open-source software, you’ve probably come across a bug that you want to fix but don’t have the expertise to do it yourself — and the original author isn’t all that interested in fixing it. With Git Bounty, which was dreamed up by a team of French Canadians (and one Frenchman) from Montreal at our Disrupt SF hackathon this weekend, you can incentivize open-source programmers to fix those bugs for you. Git Bounty lets you pick a bug you need fixed, set a reward and then publicize it.
The hackers (Angus MacIsaac, Adam Burvill, Anton Shevchenko, Nathan Boiron, Martin Coulombe), which all work together at Montreal development shop Osedea, told me that they came up with the idea on Friday night before the event.
“We wanted to do something that was meaningful and useful for us,” Osedea’s Coulombe told me. Recently, the team had a project where they would have happily paid $2,000 for somebody to submit a fix to an open-source framework they often use rather than fixing it themselves. Often, that means moving resources off another — and paid — project.
Coulombe told me that the team plans to keep working on Git Bounty after the event. “We see the potential and the value. We just have to see how it gets accepted in the open-source community,” he said. He also noted that while the project is mostly focusing on bug fixes right now, it could also be used to pay programmers to add new features to a project.
The team used the time at the hackathon to learn a new framework (Laravel) and used Twilio’s APIs for sending notifications and Stripe for payments.
In the long run, the idea would be to take a cut from the bounties, but Coulombe noted that the team also thought about giving developers the option to donate that cut to a charitable organization.