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How I used an open source mentality to dig my path forward through school

I like to believe I have been always involved in open source. Even as a kid and a student.

When I was in school, I came up with an "open source"/"open collaboration" methodology to finish my homework fast with little effort. Back then I had no clue what open source was - but now I can find a parallel line of thinking between the two.

Here is how it would work:
Given a certain homework of 4 parts, I would start working on a part it, maybe do Part A) and B).

Then I would ask someone else in my class to do part C) and D)

Then ask someone else to verify all of A), B), C) and D) - did all parts make sense?

If so, then great homework done for everyone. This applies to most homework in a way or another

This could scale further...depending on the amount of work required.

Everyone who'd have collaborated on the homework would at that point have the full answer.

It was part of the process - if you're part of the "homework project", you get full access to the full homework.

Strength in numbers?

In the end, before submission everyone would just take all of the work done as a group, change it a little bit & submit it.
Worked. Every. Single. time.

Copy meme

Homework done. Open source style.

Was this legal at school? Probably not.

Later in life

In the world of software however, collaborating in plain sight is absolutely rewarded.

Open source works pretty much just like that.

I have a couple of open source projects under my belt, some a little successful other, not so much. (if you're interested check my Github here
Open source to me, has always been an interesting concept:

  • I build something that I think is useful
  • I put the code in the public domain
  • Other people CAN use my code for free to solve their problems faster
  • People can help me make the code better
  • [Repeat this a few tens of times]
  • Eventually, the next person that uses the project has a much better experience

...but can someone make a living out of it?

That's something I will explore in the next piece!

What about you?

🤔 Have you worked hard through school, or did you work smart?
Was the approach you took worth it?
Let me know in the comments!

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