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There are Not Enough Open-source Authors!by@andrewredican
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There are Not Enough Open-source Authors!

by Andrew RedicanFebruary 6th, 2023
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I work on my own open-source projects after my day job is over. On good days I spend about 5 hours polishing my craft. But make no mistake, my motivation for putting my projects out into the world is not about saintly selfless altruism. No sir.
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We often hear about how open source benefits businesses and organizations. Like “it increases innovation”, or “it’s about cost savings in the long run” maybe?


“Sponsoring open-source projects that your organization relies on is a sound business strategy” — duh-oh.


Promoting open source from within your organization has benefits”, touché.


But what does not get discussed nearly enough is why should YOU bother authoring open-source projects. What’s in it for me, what’s in it for you?


I work on my own open-source projects after my day job is over. On good days I spend about 5 hours polishing my craft. But make no mistake, my motivation for putting my projects out into the world is not about saintly selfless altruism. No sir.


I use open-source development as a creative space where I can pursue my own interests and reach my “zone of potential development” — as in the thin line between comfort and challenge, where an individual can experience the most growth.


Working on open source has taken me on a path of self-discovery, and in this process, I’ve been able to hone my skills further. If anything, I am an ever-so-slightly more interesting person than before.


There are some more obvious benefits, like having a decent or strong portfolio of open-source projects on your Github profile — which we all know to be the modern-day equivalent of your CV as a software engineer — that showcases your journey and the skills you’ve acquired.


Like many, I work for somebody. Almost everybody does. I think only farmers are the last “free people” on earth, but I digress.


I’d say people join a company out of necessity in order to sustain themselves and support their families. This is a valid and noble reason. It is also common to optimize for financial gain. Do tell me in the comment section if you’ve valued wage a lot less than other factors when considering a job. I’d like to know about it.


Good work sustains you, yes. But I am here to remind you that working for someone else’s grand vision shifts focus away from you or your own goals and, in the long run, slowly chips away at your soul. At some point, it’s important to listen to your inner self it might be (screaming) telling you to find a mission that truly speaks to you.


But to me, there is something deeper at play here, one which brings me a sense of purpose. I want to leave a mark on the world, to contribute to the tower of knowledge built by humankind. I want to think that long after I’m gone, somewhere, someone has embedded my code in their projects. I would like to think that I will leave the world someday slightly better than it was before.

For some their mark on this world will be their children, writing a book, or a painting. I write code because that is what I think I am good at. I imprint my thought process and ideas through code so that they will live on.


Look, I’m not saying that open-source development is the path to some grand enlightenment, but it is a way to express your individuality and pursue your passions for some in our line of work.


All it takes is a willingness to try and a bit of courage to put your work out into the world. So take the leap, rely on the knowledge and skills you’ve acquired throughout your career, and create something truly beautiful.


If you’d like to follow some of my work, please check out enio.


Thanks for reading!