Today marked a bit of a milestone. I’m an advocate for open source and I love getting the chance to contribute back. I’ve corrected docs, reported bugs, fixed code, and released gems. Today I got to contribute back to a project that has done a lot for me.
This came about because of a post on the Heroku engineering blog by Richard Schneems. He explained some performance improvements that he’d recently committed to Rails. At the end he linked to the list of commits. Curious, I looked them over and found a spot that I thought could be improved. A small change on one line. A short discussion ensued and he suggested that I submit a pull request to Rails. One merged pull request later and I have my first Rails commit.
On more than one occasion my wife has remarked about the accessibility of the development community. That I can hold conversations on GitHub or Twitter with well known and respected members of my field. That I’m provided the opportunity to stick my hands into the machine and fix it without having to climb over mountains of bureaucracy. And do you know what? She’s right. It’s pretty damn fantastic.