Open source is great! It’s an amazing way to grow as a developer, influence our craft, make friends, build your online resume, and help solve your own and others’ problems.
Open source is terrible! Angry issues, ambiguous PRs, pressure to maintain projects you’re not using anymore — all start to feel like the worst sort of homework.
Deciding to start and run open source projects is a tough choice — there’s no right choice for any person, life context, and project and many people rightfully avoid it.
Here’s a few thoughts:
Go in expecting this. Some projects start busy and work gradually declines as the project approaches “done”. Many others continue to demand more and more work as time passes. It might be fun at first to work all day Saturday on your project but that won’t last.
These are some motives that are strong and sustainable and will keep things fun and rewarding even when the project feels especially demanding:
Posted July 19, 2019
Kyle Mathews lives and works in San Francisco building useful things. You should follow him on Twitter