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Use code from a -STABLE development branch of FreeBSD. These development branches are formally supported by FreeBSD's release engineering and security teams and comprise of tested code.
Donate code to reduce costs
A major proportion of the costs associated with developing products is that of doing maintenance. By donating non-critical code to the project, you benefit by having your code see much wider exposure than it would otherwise get. This in turn leads to more bugs and security vulnerabilities being flushed out and performance anomalies being identified and fixed.
Get support effectively
For products with tight deadlines, it is recommended that you hire or enter into a consulting agreement with a developer or firm with FreeBSD experience. The <link xlink:href="http://lists.FreeBSD.org/mailman/listinfo/freebsd-jobs">FreeBSD related employment mailing list</link> is a useful communication channel to find talent. The FreeBSD project maintains a <link xlink:href="@@URL_RELPREFIX@@/commercial/consult_bycat.html">gallery of consultants and consulting firms</link> undertaking FreeBSD work. The <link xlink:href="http://www.bsdcertification.org/">BSD Certification Group</link> offers certification for all the major BSD derived OSes.
For less critical needs, you can ask for help on the <link xlink:href="http://lists.FreeBSD.org/mailman/listinfo">project mailing lists</link>. A useful guide to follow when asking for help is given in <citation>Ray2004</citation>.
Publicize your involvement
You are not required to publicize your use of FreeBSD, but doing so helps both your effort as well as that of the project.
Letting the FreeBSD community know that your company uses FreeBSD helps improve your chances of attracting high quality talent. A large roster of support for FreeBSD also means more mind share for it among developers. This in turn yields a healthier foundation for your future.
Support FreeBSD developers
Sometimes the most direct way to get a desired feature into FreeBSD is to support a developer who is already looking at a related problem. Help can range from hardware donations to direct financial assistance. In some countries, donations to the FreeBSD project enjoy tax benefits. The project has a dedicated <link xlink:href="@@URL_RELPREFIX@@/donations/">donations liaison</link> to assist donors. The project also maintains a web page where developers <link xlink:href="@@URL_RELPREFIX@@/donations/wantlist.html">list their needs</link>.
As a policy the FreeBSD project <link xlink:href="@@URL_RELPREFIX@@/doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/articles/contributors">acknowledges</link> all contributions received on its web site.
Conclusion
The FreeBSD project's goals are to create and give away the source code for a high-quality operating system. By working with the FreeBSD project you can reduce development costs and improve your time to market in a number of product development scenarios.
We examined the characteristics of the FreeBSD project that make it an excellent choice for being part of an organization's product strategy. We then looked at the prevailing culture of the project and examined effective ways of interacting with its developers. The article concluded with a list of best-practices that could help organizations collaborating with the project.
Carp1996
<link xlink:href="http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc1958.txt">The Architectural Principles of the Internet</link>
<personname><firstname>B.</firstname><surname>Carpenter</surname></personname><affiliation> <orgname>The Internet Architecture Board</orgname> </affiliation>
<year>1996</year>
ComGuide
<link xlink:href="@@URL_RELPREFIX@@/doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/articles/committers-guide">Committer's Guide</link>
<orgname>The FreeBSD Project</orgname>
<year>2005</year>
GoldGab2005
<link xlink:href="http://dreamsongs.com/IHE/IHE.html">Innovation Happens Elsewhere: Open Source as Business Strategy</link>
<personname><firstname>Ron</firstname><surname>Goldman</surname></personname>
<personname><firstname>Richard</firstname><surname>Gabriel</surname></personname>
ISBN 1558608893
Morgan-Kaufmann
Hub1994
<link xlink:href="@@URL_RELPREFIX@@/doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/articles/contributing">Contributing to the FreeBSD Project</link>

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