Ive been thinking alot lately about work, and how much it can take over your life unexpectedly. One moment youre enjoying your days (weekends, even!) and the next you are neck deep in support tickets, code changes and project work. While this certainly doesnt make for a boring work life, once things really get intense you start to forget how much you actually enjoy programming! It becomes a chore, a case of 'sigh, another day grumble grumble'. Ive realised this over the past few months that I have been completely consumed with work, and in doing so stopped enjoying the very reason I got into programming in the first place...
That urge to discover, create and mold what you see.
Damn, its been that long since Ive actually programmed for the pure joy of it its given me a yearning (oh yes, I just used the word yearning) to work on some personal projects of my own... Nothing too big, more 'for the fun of it' type stuff than any serious applications. And as a result of this I have chosen to join the open source community, in this particular case GitHub. GitHub is a site which encourages the collaboration, creativity and passion for programming (all shapes and forms) and enables anyone to contribute to any project that catches their eye. These are people who, apart from their daily grind, choose to spend their spare time creating something wonderful, with people who share their passion for development. This sounds like a mighty fine place to be.
The smallest ideas often cause the greatest change, and I find the best example of this with the guys over at Code52, and they have a very simple goal; 'A new coding project every week'. While they havent quite met this goal, some of the applications theyve created are amazing, with the base code created within an entire week. I find this sort of thing staggering in the most wonderful way... Most people I know (even people in IT) consider their job as 'just a job'. While theres nothing wrong with this, for me personally I have a passion for this sort of thing. Not just the technical side of it either but the reasons why we develop (to me, this is almost more important than what we do but thats a post for another day). They are trying to introduce the open source mindset in small, easy to manage projects. This gives exposure to those too intimidated (ie. me) to contribute to the random projects you can see on GitHub and the like. This is passion.
So Ive decided to take the plunge. Once things quieten down a bit of work and I have some spare time again Ill look into contributing into some of the Code52 projects, for no other reason than to learn how other developers work, and see some slightly more varied codebases as Ive been with my current employer for almost 5 years now, with the same codebase (plus a few bits and pieces) so it will be very interesting to see other perspectives and other thought processes in action.
Night all :)