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Bad Reasons to Hack on Open Source Projects

Update: the original title was "Reason Why You Shouldn't Hack on Open Source Projects", but commenters pointed out that this title would fit better.

People admire open source contributors, just like they admire entrepreneurs and artists. That's awesome, they'll tell you. Improve the world, I love that. Go for it! (It's easy for them to say.)

But as with anything that becomes more prestigious, people recommending it to you will ignore your opportunity costs, and you may try to do it for the wrong reasons. You shouldn't become an artist so you can be famous, but because there's art inside of you that will kill you if you don't let it out. You shouldn't found a startup to make money, but because it's your life's work. And you shouldn't hack on open source projects because someone told you that your GitHub profile is your new resume, but because you want to code socially. I won't focus on why open source is good in this post, but rather warn you about some common, bad reasons to hack on open source projects.

(image: jalbertbowdenii)

Who Rocks the House?

On Tynan

I rock the house. How do you like this enthusiasm? Enjoy it while it lasts, because 24 hours from now I will be hating life. Or maybe not!

I can't really describe how these naps are going. The whole time I feel like I'm not asleep and I'm trying to fall asleep. But I'll notice that my thoughts are totally bizarre. like this time I was thinking about how to beat a video game that doesn't actually exist. Occasionally I think "Man... I'm not falling asleep". And then the alarm goes off and I wake up and can't really tell if I was asleep or not.

Anyway, this is going to be the tough stretch, but I actually feel like I have plenty of energy. My sleep schedule for the past week has been pretty bizarre, so maybe that's helped me. Luckily I have a project to work on, so I'm not too bored.

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