Joseph Jung

@jungyue

Be thankful for your github repo graveyard

I have a good feeling that I’m not alone when I see a desolate graveyard of repositories when signing in to Github. Here’s a list of some casualties in my account with post-mortems:

  1. JDrawer — a jQuery drawer plugin. Died quickly after getting hit by a “no one cared” bus…
  2. KodeKarate — collaborative code/test writing… though having a hip name, it suffered from a “too over-complicated” attack.
  3. Hail-the-king — A javascript clone of Travian… Had a bad case of “too ambitious” and died young.
  4. A web pack starter kit — Had a good run with … 5 users? Still limping along but about to croak.
  5. lwrnc(stands for Lawrence) renderer — A node template renderer— suffocated after finding out renderers were much more complicated originally thought.

This list goes on and on…

It may be tempting to look back on these projects and regret the “lack of motivation”, but is that really what happened?

I think project graveyards are actually good things, and should be viewed so. Why’s that? It shows that:

  1. You are ambitious.
  2. You at least know when to quit.
  3. You’ve probably learned that you should think things through BEFORE you start.

It’s inevitable that you will fall out of love with your project, after which the value it provides to others will be what keeps you motivated.

Think about it — most of these dead projects probably would’ve taken way too much time — it’s not easy to bring a project to the public… bug fixes, complaints, feature requests, potential hosting costs… a whole host of headaches.

I think I’ve made a tool that provides value for people — A chrome extension I call snaptest that emulates Selenium in the browser so you can actually easily debug your QA tests. I find value with it at work, and other people email me saying that it helps them a lot. Even though it may not be the most interesting subject matter in the world, it provides value to others, which gives me the “good feels”.

So keep looking for ways to add value, and be thankful for your github graveyard.

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