I am pretty stoked about this milestone.
Here is a lightly-edited email I sent around at Care.com this morning:
Last night I published Care.com’s very first Open Source software on Github!
(Github is the primary “social coding” platform for open source software projects, where developers — ranging from individual coders to huge companies — share their code.
It makes it easy to use and contribute to each others’ projects, and everyone gains.
Last fall in working on the International platform I ran into some front-end problems unsolved by the Grails community, so I wrote a tool to solve it myself.
The tool is called “Lesswatcher”.
In November I had published it in a public but relatively obscure repository (the “npm registry”) where it was not as visible as on Github.
Then a month ago I got an unexpected email from a complete stranger who had found it, liked it, was actively using it, and had gone so far as to:
* find and fix a minor bug AND
* implement the 2 meaningful “TODO” features on the project’s roadmap!
… and he wanted to know how to contribute his changes, since the project was not on github.
That was the catalyst I needed to tidy it up and publish it properly, which I did last night (with help from the inimitable Jon Palmer who manages the caredotcom account).
For non-engineers this might not seem too exciting, but the idea of having useful features implemented for us for free by talented strangers, and engaging in a meaningful way with the huge and thriving open-source community, is a pretty big deal to us.
So, HUGE THANKS to Jon for helping push for OSS at Care and setting up the caredotcom github account; to Ryan and Charlie for crucial beta testing and feedback; to Dave K and Diane Musi for approving our OSS process and Lesswatcher’s release; and to Jacob for letting me spend some time learning Node and implementing this tool.
Have a happy Wednesday everyone! 🙂
P.S. URLs of interest:
https://github.com/caredotcom/lesswatcher = official public project repo
https://npmjs.org/package/lesswatcher = npm repo (for easy installation by users of the tool)
[Redacted: a couple internal Care.com wiki links.]