From a software development view, the major differences between Open Source and “working for the man” are:
  • With Open Source, the copyright on the code you write remains with you.
  • With commercial software, the copyright on the code is the property of your employer (usually)
  • With Open Source, your name is attached to the code – world wide …
  • With commercial software, the only names associated with the code are those of the upper management …
  • With Open Source, everyone gets to see how well you write code and, the code is inspected and, it's possible to submit bug reports, crash dumps and issues found – world wide …
    • Formal testing is, alas and alack, a major issue in far too many cases …

  • With commercial software, the code is usually not available for inspection and, one has to trust that, an acceptable amount of testing has been performed and, it's usually difficult to report any errors found …

No, I haven't mentioned “free” because, which “free” is meant here?
  • Free” as in freedom.
  • Free” as in “the licence fee is not defined as being a monetary value” …