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Hackernoon logoOn 10,000 npm installs — Or what Open Source Software means to me by@trstringer

On 10,000 npm installs — Or what Open Source Software means to me

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@trstringerThomas Stringer

It’s Sunday night. Like most evenings, I was just writing some code. Code that falls under one or more of the following categories…

  • I need it
  • I think others might need it
  • It’s cool (or so I think)

Note: Extra greatness when the code I’m writing falls under all three of those categories!

And also like most evenings, I get to a certain point where I find myself easily distracted. Or sometimes even begging for some distraction. For whatever reason, I checked npm-stat (a super cool site that pulls npm install statistics by user or package).

Something special caught my eye this time… In the past 365 days I’ve just exceeded 10,000 npm installs. I paused, and let that number really sink in.

Without a shadow of a doubt, there are leaders in the OSS space that have an order of magnitude more visibility on their code and projects. And rightfully so, it’s thrilling how amazing (and humbling) the OSS world is today. But it’s not a competition, not even close to it. The minute you start to think “that other developer has a lot more downloads/installs/stars/forks/followers/* than I do :-(“ I suggest you take a step back and analyze why you are an OSS contributor.

But what does it all mean?

I digress. This number struck a deep chord in me. That’s a lot of installs with my code. That’s a pretty good feeling that, relatively speaking, I’ve programmatically impacted a lot of developers.

But by what degree? How much did I help? Did they npm install my code and then never do anything with it? And exactly how many developers are we talking about? 10,000+ installs, but is that just a few developers that have a particular workflow that does a large amount of installs?

This was instantly what my brain tried to do, obviously an impossible task outside of internal fiction telling. Then it dawned on me how I really feel…

If my code helped one developer at least once… then it was all worth it.

Why? Not because I’m an overly selfless developer, but because I constantly use OSS that has helped (and continues to help) me.

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