As I sit down to work today and reflect on the tools I have in front of me, I have trouble finding code that isn’t the result of open source software.
Even on my iMac, the proprietary code that constitutes macOS depends on a vast ecosystem of open source software.
Can you imagine life without open source software? You’d have to pay for everything, or roll your own. How slow would the development process be?
So. So. Slow.
When we software developers start a project, we enter a few lines into the files that represent our project’s dependencies, run a command to get them, and we’re off to building the Next Big Thing.
This simple act takes advantage of the generosity of thousands of developers around the world who spend their spare time working on projects. Some do it for fun. Some do it because it will make their own life easier and they want to share the result with the world. In all cases, it’s their generosity that leads them to share it with us for free.
Over the past few months, I have been seeing more and more reports about open source maintainers hanging up their keyboards. For some, they are moving onto other things that interest them. Yet, for some it’s because they are tired of maintaining their project in their free time and being subject to nasty issues from users demanding to know why their bug is not being solved or why their pet feature is not added.
Some of us are able to fix bugs, answer questions in the issue tracker, or write documentation. That’s awesome! If you can do it, you should!
Yet, for all of us, supporting open source can be as simple as saying thank you. Gratitude is an amazingly powerful thing can change a person’s day.
To make gratitude a top priority, we’re starting a campaign to thank an open source maintainer each month. I challenge every developer to do the same.
Tag your tweets or issues with #thankanOSSmaintainer to join in. Let’s eradicate maintainer burn out and drown them in .