Motivation for working on an OSS project

Interesting comment in this podcast episode:

Jon Calhoun Says


You’d think it would get more popular now that – I feel like pair-programming applications and that sort of thing almost have to take off a little bit more, because there’s not great options; at least it doesn’t feel like there’s great options for a lot of this stuff.

I did have a question when you were talking about – Matt was asking about beginners getting involved. I noticed that a lot of your repos have a difficulty tag that you put on all your issues… Has that been hard to manage? How has that helped is far as allowing people to get involved?

Sean DuBois Says


I don’t think it’s really helped that much. It’s really hard to just go to a random issue and pick it, because you’re not passionate about the project. I think it’s pretty idealistic to think “Today I’m gonna sit down and I’m gonna get involved, because I wanna get involved.” I think you have to figure out what is the itch you’re trying to scratch, because that’s the only thing that’s going to motivate you in the end. There’s no reward at the end of this. You’re not getting paid… It totally has to come from your own personal happiness. I tried that, and I do it a little bit, but I haven’t seen it pay off that much.

This really cuts to the core of motivation for working on OSS projects – it has to solve “your” problem.