With Hacktoberfest coming to an end I started to reflect on my experience this year. It was fun to add in a little bit to some projects and see everyone's excitement with contributing to open source for the first time. I really loved seeing the posts here about what people were doing and already have some ideas for things to do next year.
Hacktoberfest also reminded me that I am an open source maintainer and, to be honest, how I haven't been doing a good job of that. Earlier this year I started a project called Dancing Vikings where I was going to make open source games. People really seemed to be into the idea and I have even gotten some people contributing to things like the website for the project. I started the first game and in the time since haven't made much progress on it. The game has gotten some pull requests that I have brought into the project, but the game is nowhere near being ready to play.
I'm not trying to get down on myself, but I see this as a failure. I understand how and why it has worked out this way. This isn't my full time work and life has kept me busy in many things outside of code and tech. Right now I am also going through a bootcamp and am really focused on the work for that. This is okay. I have seen many stories from people who have started side projects and how they have admitted when they weren't living up to their expectations. This is okay. This side project, like any other, is meant to help me learn and I have definitely learned a lot. I learned how I took on more than I should have. I learned how NOT to run an open source project. I learned how much work goes into open source. I learned how exciting it can be to work with people in open source and that is incredibly valuable.
That is why I am going to rethink what I am going to do with Dancing Vikings. I still want to keep it in the realm of games as I find the creation of games fun and fascinating. But, I don't know if it will be to actually make games themselves. As I think about my work in software development and what I want to do mostly I just think about building stuff that makes people successful in what they are doing. So, maybe I will make Dancing Vikings more mission focused to help people make their own games. That would be fun, rewarding, and hopefully something I can manage. I also will need to make sure I plan things better so that if others join in I have clear things for them to work on so that contributing is easier.
I will need to think about this more and do some more planning. Once I get a more concrete idea together I will do a more official announcement, I think.
What have you learned from Hacktoberfest? Are you an open source maintainer? What is your recipe for success? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments.