Concretely, I exclusively offer ongoing retainer agreements, without hourly billing or specific features as deliverables. There are three contract tiers: silver, gold, and platinum. Gold includes introductory and quarterly face to face meetings. Platinum includes the advisor services beyond the strict scope of my open-source projects. All tiers are in the five-figures range (USD, yearly). That’s significantly cheaper than an employee, but meaningful enough to contribute to a total that’s competitive with the US senior software engineer market.[6] Every engagement is high touch and generally looks like a vendor relation, not like a GitHub Sponsors donation: I send a prospectus, work with a contact over a period of weeks to pitch to the decision makers and close the deal, we sign an agreement, and I provide monthly invoices to be paid by wire. As Patrick McKenzie would say, it’s shaped like enterprise sales.[7] I hired an amazing part-time assistant who helps me stay on top of everything.

I’m Now a Full-Time Professional Open Source Maintainer
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