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Changes in my open source life

February 15th, 2015 Comments off

TL;DR

I’m struggling with burnout, to fix it I decided to change my life, got part time job at Try Catch, decided to stop spending all my time on supporting RVM 1 and instead in freed time finish developing RVM 2. RVM 1 maintainers needed.

Open source

Before open source I was a bit unhappy, spending big part of my week in work. I was not depressed, just still not where I wanted to be. This unhappiness was pushing me to find things that made me happy – and open source was it. I was spending a lot of my after work time to be happy – helping people was the solution. So when I got chance to ditch work and do full time open source I was very happy. This continued for long time, I was solving problems, making people happy by helping them. I have noticed larger problems and thought of solving them, this is when I planned RVM 2 a rewrite that was supposed to fix many problems developers struggled in the setup phase of projects and development/production environments. I got money from community and started working, the feature looked bright.

Burnout

But then I was caught by trap of my own creation, I still wanted RVM 1 to work great, to be useful before RVM 2 is finished. Every time I started working on the second version I was distracted by problems of first version. With time this broke me and in the end I was unable to focus on version two. As the only developer on multiple projects I was continuing to help to solve existing problems. I even thought on changing projects I’m involved, I got into working with veewee. This helped for short time and I was able to help both veewee and to work on RVM 2, but soon the disruption wear off and I wasn’t unable to do anything else but support RVM 1. Part of the problem was I was to good in support, new people were not coming to help me, I was doing it all alone. Doing everything alone took a toll on me, I was struggling with burnout. Some weeks were good, some less. I was considering different paths I can take and how to get back in the game of development.

Solutions

In the end I have decided to cut down my support time, really cut it down to a few hours a week. Assuming the projects I’m involved are worth for others someone will pick it up and help with them. There are also alternatives to most of the code I am maintaining, people can migrate to the other projects, now it’s up to the community to step up and help me – help them self to manage the projects. I also decided to get back to working with people by getting a part time job. It happened I got contacted by an amazing startup – Try Catch – which is aligned with my personality, they want to help people. I see it as a great opportunity to get back into the development game. For start I’m working in 80% capacity – so I still can have time to focus on open source. Especially I want to focus in the remaining time on finishing RVM 2, I still have almost half of the money from the fundraiser. There is already a lot of code and putting it all together is only question of spending some quality time with it.

Excitement

I’m very excited to work with Try Catch. As I was looking to get a Ruby job it was very hard to find something really interesting and company I would like to work with. I was getting contacted by multiple headhunters, they were trying to fit me into the job openings they had, but they treated me only as meat, they did not consider searching opening for me. When I got contacted by Try Catch I was very skeptical, my thoughts were “another headhunter agency”, but after few minutes I realized they reverse the process, they search for proper position for developer, not try to push him to current openings. I have spent last week working with Try Catch and it only cemented my good feelings about the company and our future. I’m also very excited to get back into developing RVM 2, I have still the same strong feelings about solving problems with RVM 2.

The feature looks bright again!

For information on helping with open source projects I’m involved with check RVM 1 maintainers needed.

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