The Streak

I just pushed a commit to github that represents my 528th straight “github activity”, on my 180th straight day. That’s almost 3 commits/github-activities per day for 6 months straight.

 

github-180day-streak

So, why am I sharing this with you?

On December 20th of 2013, while preparing mentally to declare another set of ill-fated New Year’s Resolutions, it occurred to me that I could make a resolution about my activity in the OSS community. What if I committed to committing code, or otherwise somehow participating in the online coding community, at least once every single day for an entire year?

It seems fitting since, as a self-titled, self-employed “Open Web Evangelist”, a big part of my efforts center around participating in OSS and using that to teach and inspire others. If nothing else, it would be extremely good motivation for myself to keep writing code, keep working, keep pushing.

But I also thought to myself, “Perhaps if I commit to this goal, and am able to carry it out, it would serve as another inspiration point for others?”

So, as of just now, I’m half-way to my goal. I share it now because I am hoping that I am being inspiring to others, but I haven’t talked much about my goal yet on this blog, so it’s well past time for me to do so.

Of course, some people think these stats are purely vanity. I’ve had a number of discussions/disagreements with folks along those lines thus far. I assure you, I’m not doing this for vanity. It’s actually pretty difficult, and some days it downright sucks.

Like days I’ve been sick in bed all day long. Or days when I was literally on a plane for more than 22 of 24 hours. Or days when I just flat out have a mental block and don’t know what to do next. Or days when I’m coding along on some deep task and I have nothing even remotely ready to commit yet.

I can’t tell you how many days I’ve looked at the clock, while getting ready to head to bed, and seen 11:37pm or something like that, and realized, “oh crap, I haven’t githubbed today.” It’s actually felt like quite a chore at times. I’ve doubted if I should keep doing it. I’ve found ways of all-but-cheating, like simply filing a bug against one of my own repos with whatever I’m working on, because opening an issue counts as “activity”.

I even had one day where I did some legitimate github work, and all was fine with the streak, then 2 months later, github changed their timestamp algorithms, and it caused a gap in the middle of my streak because my work had been near midnight. So I had to go back and make a commit for that day that was edited to the corrected timestamp. Suckage. I felt dirty, and happy, all at the same time.

Why? Because the meaning of the streak is, at least I hope, much bigger than any individual activity in the streak. It stands for a commitment. It stands for inspiration (I hope). It stands for never standing still.

Actually, my intention is not to try to convince you to do the same thing as me. My intention is to challenge you to do more in OSS than you’re currently doing, for whatever value of “more” that’s appropriate for you. And it most certainly doesn’t need to be on github. OSS has a great home at github, but it’s much bigger than github.

So there you go. That’s my own goal. That’s my streak so far. That’s my hope and challenge for you.

What do you think? Is there something you could do for OSS today?

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