Puppet cost me my best friend…
My best friend moved to California this week to work for a large company who is deploying tons of Puppet. It’s a tremendous opportunity for him.
He was working on Puppet for a while at a place and I spent a relatively long time complaining to him that he should just get involved in the project instead of just keeping his home grown stuff around (since in the long run that’s also more work). Eventually he came around and his work was accepted upstream.
I imagine if a company is looking for expertise in a given field that having your name in the upstream change log might be a good qualification as to how well you know that part of the project. It’ll certainly at least get you in the interview door. I’m sure more experienced OSS developers see this all the time, but it’s nice to see someone local and unknown go and “make it” with a project they care about.
He didn’t re architect anything, or rewrite huge chunks of code, or show up and amaze upstream with his talents and amazing abilities. He just went in there and fixed what he needed it to do, got the work accepted by peers, and then went on his merrily way, oblivious that what he was doing would play a role in his future career.
This says something about how projects accept contributions and help them grow. I am willing to bet that larger open source projects have small contributors just happily sitting in their corner, sending in the occasional patch or test that you never hear about. Are we collectively working to keep the barrier low so that people can opportunistically contribute? Is our mentoring thorough enough that we can help our colleagues reach “the next level”?
It kind of puts the goals of Operation Cleansweep in perspective to me. On one hand you can say “ok so they’re cleaning up a patch backlog, whatever.” but I’d like to think of it as cleaning up a backlog of contributors that wanted to help and we just didn’t have the resources to see their contribution through to it’s conclusion.