6 Apr 2000 deirdre   » (Journeyer)


Seth made comment about the levels of certification. One of the issues I have is that it assumes that anyone who is starting out in open source coding doesn't know how to code, an assumption I find fundamentally flawed. There's also an inherent assumption that their time is unlimited. There isn't a good way of certifying master coders who, like myself, contribute here and there. Sometimes in bug reports, sometimes in design, sometimes in code.

Some of us have been coding for a living longer than the average Advogato user has been alive. While I may not be famous as a coder in the open source space (mostly because I've written custom apps which, while necessary, are not especially glorious), as a coder I'm easily Master level and have been for years. Furthermore, not all my contributions have been in the Unix space -- I wrote open source software for the MacOS at least five years before I heard the term "open source." I have code that's been continuously running for more than 20 years[1]. Within this community, I see myself as Journeyer mostly because I spend time on community events at the expense of coding (which I do all day, every day). But rating me as an apprentice is, imho, insulting. I've contributed lots of little pieces to lots of places, but never quite enough to "make a name" for myself. I don't give a shit about the recognition, but I find it amusing that some people have certified me who a) don't know what I have done and b) don't know me very well.

Exercise: If you're in the US, open up the newspaper to the television listings section. There's more than a 50% chance that the page you're looking at was generated by my code.


Saw a lot of people at SVLUG, including Joey Hess, many of whom did double takes on Rick wearing a suit. Well, we didn't have time to change. The double-takes he got were really hilarious. Prior to that, we'd spent time with his large, boisterous Norwegian family. Coming from a small family myself, I felt a bit cramped. I couldn't believe how much food they had. Too bad we don't have stasis generators to keep piles of food from going bad. Everyone coming in had an ice chest it seemed.

Apparently ESR hadn't heard of advogato, so we told him about it last night. In sad news, his father died yesterday morning. :( ESR said it wasn't unexpected.

We skipped the SVLUG meeting proper, hanging out with ESR and Karsten Self. After the meeting, we spent time with our new neighbor, Reg Charney, and Karen Shaeffer. Karen really has a wonderful head on her shoulders and it was great spending time with her.

As almost all my day yesterday was spent in social events, no code. Today, it's work, an appointment and home, so probably no coding as I'm being a sysadmin today.

Open Source Culture

Dria says:

It's becoming increasingly clear that the Open Source community is mind-bendingly complex -- not just in terms of creating technology, but also in terms of social interaction and community and all the other squishy stuff that goes along with it.

Heck, go for a Ph.D. from The Union Institute. In fact, this very area had fascinated me also. My undergrad studies were strong on just about every social science except sociology.

[1] The concept of "code uptime" has really become more appealing to me over time as a measure of software quality. By that measure, some of the so-called illuminaries of open source would be ranked apprentice. I have spent a good chunk of my career as a "reimplementer" -- when someone else screws up and the code crashes, freezes, is outgrown or whatever, I redesign and reimplement from scratch. Thus, code quality is far more important to me than the glory of being a "frontier" programmer and getting my name in lights. To me, the craft is about coding correctly. I'm not going to point fingers, but there's an awful lot of atrocious design and implementation out there, and if we ever GET the cloning process perfected, I'm going to sic my clones on getting it all fixed.

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