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From Christofer Dutz <christofer.d...@c-ware.de>
Subject Little update on my work-situation ... and some reasoning why (Especially commercial users of PLC4X ... please read)
Date Thu, 01 Oct 2020 11:51:59 GMT
Hi all,

I would like to tell you about some changes in my work-situation.

Today is my first day working for a new US startup called Mapped (https://mapped.com). I can’t
tell you what I’m going to be doing there … not yet … but soon.
This does however have some impact on how I’ll be able to react on stuff here.

It will be part of my job to continue working on PLC4X, so no worries, I’m not going away.
However I am now actually working and no longer available for bug-fixing 24/7 … especially
not my permanent free commercial-like support I had been providing for the past 3 years.
I’ll still be providing community support besides my job, but it’s going to be less time,
as I’ll be doing that in my free time. So if the weather sucks in Germany, support will
be better cause then my significant other won’t be having me working in the garden ;-)

When I started PLC4X I had hoped, based on the estimated demand in the industry, it should
be easy to make a living on PLC4X consulting. It turned out that I was right with the need
and the demand of the industry, however I could have never imagined that the industry would
rather waste a 3 million number of euros than take a few thousand € and try something new.
In the past 3 years I did a number of POCs in the industry. None of them I’m allowed to
speak publicly about … all of them were not just technical successes, they results were
out of this world. Unfortunately good performance, good results don’t seem to help much
in this industry – not a single one of these resulted in real gigs.

When I quit at codecentric I was hoping to continue on my own but the amount of consulting
work I was able to get in the last 4 months sums up to 0. A lot of companies are interested
and “definitely want to work with me/us”, but all I got was … “but let’s discuss
things in QT1 or QT2 of 2021”. It definitely feels like one of those diets where you always
start “tomorrow”. I tried github sponsors … but all I got was a 50$ sponsorship from
a fellow Apache Member (Which I am grateful for).

So in the end, after my EU funded project is coming to an end, I wasn’t planning on using
up my life-savings - waiting and hoping for the (German) industry to wake up. And when I got
an offer from that US Startup, where I would be able to continue my work on PLC4X, I couldn’t
resist and took the offer. And I have to admit … if I had seen, what I have seen on my first
day … I would have probably even aborted the research project. I’m really looking forward
to this :-)

Why am I writing this?

I wanted to make especially the commercial users of PLC4X on this list aware of the situation:
If you produce something and give it away for free, you don’t earn anything. So you can’t
continue giving away stuff for free indefinitely. Simple as that.

This community has grown quite a bit and I am really happy with how the project has evolved
from the times where I was just talking to myself on this list. However I know some of the
other contributors to this project are in a similar situation as I was.
If the industry doesn’t ask for consulting, training, workshops from the people that build
this great project, they too will have to look for other ways to earn a living.

So please consider hiring the one or the other for implementation, consulting, POCs, training,
workshops … oh hell … even for walking the dog - but please don’t let the others starve.

On our website we have a list of the team https://plc4x.apache.org/developers/team.html (Which
I just noticed I need to update ;-) and which is missing quite a number of folks … so please
add yourself)

I also know that a number of people and companies around PLC4X and other Apache IoT projects
have formed an alliance for providing commercial support for the projects they are involved
in:
https://industrial-open-source.com

Don’t get me wrong … I’m not going away … I’m just ending my “Chris’ free commercial
support program”.

Thanks for having read this far :-)


Chris




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