Friday, December 26, 2014

Contributing to Open Source is hard

I realized after trying to maintain the Go plugin for IntelliJ IDEA, how hard it is to actually contribute and maintain something for the open-source community.

Not only there's a problem with the time you have, my case after 10-12 hours of being away from home, getting at 8-9 PM to do something is hard. Then, there's the problem of switching from different context. Again, in my case, I'm switching from doing servers / automation or Go to Java and a whole bunch of different problems to solve, worlds apart would be a proper definition of it. Then you have to deal with issues coming in from your users, which contrary to what you'd expect, them being developers as well, 95% suck at reporting issues. And ofc they get impatient when their pretty little bug / feature request doesn't get attention from the developers, I guess it's easy to request things done for free by others in their spare time, no?

Don't get me wrong, occasionally, once a month or so, you get an e-mail from a random user saying: Thank you. (and not demanding anything else in turn) and that helps you remember why you are doing it as it feels so nice but more often then not people just don't understand how hard it is to do it.

As such, Thank you all of you out there who are doing such a nice work and share things with others, for free, in your spare time. And I don't mean those who get paid to do it from their job / as a living. If you open-source and maintain something that you did in your company, that's nice, but you got payed to do it. The real heroes are the ones doing it for free and demanding nothing in return.

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