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by ryan davis



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Looking for the Ruby Quickref?

The Art of Asking

Published 2018-05-23 @ 13:15

Tagged minitest, sexp_processor, ruby_parser, ruby2ruby, hoe, flay, flog, thoughts

I’ve watched this amazing talk by Amanda Palmer a number of times. It’s about asking for what you need/want and trusting that you’ll get the support you need from your fans/base. It is really good:

I have always been an open source developer. I was first published on a CDROM (remember those?!?) that went out in a magazine (remember those?!?) in the early-to-mid 90s. I’ve been writing open source since before the term was coined. Since before we had the actual licenses (it was just called freeware or public domain back then and mine just happened to ship with the source). Giving away my software for free for the benefit of others is something that is in my blood and probably always will be.

Then the Ruby language comes along. I found it early (2000) and it spoke to me. It called to me. It worked with my brain instead of against it like so many other languages did. I fell for Ruby.

Since then, I have:

  • Published nearly 100 gems.
  • Done over 1000 releases.
  • Had over a quarter billion downloads.
  • Created minitest, sexp_processor, ruby_parser, hoe, flay, flog… so many things that I’ve put out into the world… some of which you may not even know you use.
  • Participated in many more projects sending in patches, or bug reports, or just helping the maintainers push back against the chaos.
  • Given almost 30 talks at various conferences big and small.
  • Formed Seattle.rb, the first and longest running Ruby brigade in the world(!!) and eventually evolved it to where it is today.
  • Hosted numerous study groups helping people exercise their minds.
  • Helped hundreds of new developers in IRC.

For a while I was employed at BigCo and my boss encouraged us to do all these things whenever we weren’t tasked with anything specific. But that well has dried up for many of us. I’m consulting now (hire me!) and that means that when I’m working on open source, I’m usually not paying the bills. Sometimes that is not the case, but most often it is. (I owe a huge amount of gratitude to codeclimate for funding me to work on flay for a while!)

I am the guy in the video at 6:30 who cringes hard at these things. That feels like it is begging. That putting this out there is vulnerable and scary. Fears of “is this fair?” and “GET A JOB!” well up… But 2017 and now 2018 have all been about embracing and working through my discomfort, and so here I am, writing this, putting out my hat on the sidewalk.

And so, I am asking you, here and now, to support my efforts.

Thank You. 🌼

P.S. As an aside: I’m new to this patreon thing. I think I set it up well enough? I don’t have rewards/ransomware or private content because that feels classist and against the spirit in which I publish my wares… but I could be having a knee-jerk reaction to that. I’m open to suggestions.