As 2016 comes to a close, I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m entirely dependent on open source tools, libraries and frameworks. I threw in the towel a few years ago and it’s been framework bliss ever since — and I’m certainly not alone.
For me, the more opinionated the better (maybe less so for others) and when it comes to making tech decisions, I find that more is less.
“If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” — Sir Isaac Newton
I’m thankful for the many amazing open source projects I use everyday. In return for the productivity boost, I support them through financial contributions, book purchases, pull requests, editing documentation and community participation.
My full thank you list is below. Who’s on your list?
The history of web development is a winding path; defined by moments of discovery, experimentation, implementation, and community contribution. As web developers in 2016, we frequently transition in and out of these phases. By supporting and contributing to open source communities, we’re helping define the future of our own industry.
As difficult as it seems, it’s a great time to be a web developer. The barrier to entry is extremely low and the desire to learn is all someone needs to get started — along with a low-end computer and some spare time.
Web development is an empowering skill — seemingly magical to those unversed in its many dialects.
Open source is not a zero-sum gain. Successful open source projects benefit both sides of the table:
Project founders gain leadership experience, access to contributors/testers, professional opportunities, speaking gigs, and even potential fame :-). The communities formed around their projects can influence the future direction of the entire industry (e.g. Rails, jQuery, Less/Sass, Angular, React).
End users are empowered to achieve far more with less resources. By participating in communities, they also gain access to a diverse range of feedback and opinions.
With that said, I want to acknowledge the open source projects and people that helped me become a better web developer in 2016 — your list will clearly differ from mine.
I’m grateful for all of their hard work and dedication. They make it possible for me to accomplish the seemingly impossible.
Laravel — Taylor Otwell
Thank you to to Taylor Otwell and the Laravel Community for making my server-side development experience elegant, expressive and hassle-free —I bet you never thought that sentence would be possible with regards to PHP. His continued focus on fine-tuning the developer experience makes Laravel enjoyable to use. I’m a proud supporter of the framework and the ecosystem of tools that fund it’s development.
Vue.js — Evan You
Thank you to Evan You for creating Vue.js. I first learned about Vue.js last year from the Laravel community and it just “clicked” for me. The early and ongoing collaboration between Laravel and Vue is a big win for both communities. It’s been a great year for Vue.js and you can support future development on Patreon.
Thank you to the NodeJS community for resolving their differences and forming the NodeJS Foundation. Although this happened in late 2015, I started working with NodeJS this year and I’m grateful that its future looks bright.
ExpressJS has an unbelievable history. I’m thankful to TJ Holowaychuk for creating Express and to Doug Wilson for all of his hard work in keeping the project going. Express is so easy to use and well-documented throughout the web.
Laracasts — Jeffrey Way
Thank you to CodeCourse for such in-depth courses covering Laravel and Vue.js. I’ve learned so much already.
Thank you to Matt Stauffer for his detailed and helpful blog posts covering every new Laravel version.
Chrome DevTools Team
If you haven’t already done so, I encourage you to post your own web development thank you list. Your list might include open source “movers and shakers”, project leaders, a helpful Slack/freenode friend, or even a person that took time to answer a tough question on StackOverflow or community forum. Anyone can make an impact in the open source community.
Looking forward to seeing your list …