Thursday, February 28, 2013

Emulation March

An Emu, get it?
Programming communities are full of inspirational people. People who do great things. Not only great things, but specific things that inspire us. Whether it is blogging, working on open source projects or mentoring, I often look out and say to myself, "wow, I should do more of X." But, it can seem a bit overwhelming. After all, I don't have unlimited time. Add to that the seeming enormous task to start doing all those things.

Change is hard

Change starts with small steps, though. It is rare to be successful by making a huge shift in your life, not to mention developing it all into a habit. So, rather than looking at all the inspiring actions around our community and wishing that I was doing them more, I decided that I would pick just one. Thus was born "Emulation March."

The goal is simple: find someone that inspires you through a concrete action; make a vow to do that action with some regularity during the month of March; change your twitter bio (or other indication somewhere) to their name and the hashtag #emumarch. Simple as pie (note: simplicity also available as cake in certain areas).

You don't even have to be public about it. If you don't want to change your title or bio or whatever, that's cool. The month is about choosing an activity you want to pick up and doing it in a reasonable fashion. I find that being public often is a motivating factor to keep going. You might not. That's okay. But, if you want to be public, then blog about it, tweet about it (hashtag #emumarch), facebookize about it, google+-ercize about it, shout from the building tops.
Not Aaron, but WHAT HAIR!

My Emulation March Person

I admire people who contribute a lot to open source projects. I have contributed here and there, mostly through pairing with people, but I'd like to do it more deliberately.

A person I admire for contributing to open source (and lots of other things) is Aaron Patterson, our precious tenderlove of the ruby community. Not only does Aaron contribute to open source which makes our lives more productive, but he also brings us wonderful projects like Enterprise and Phuby that really enrich our lives. I think this is important, reminding us that coding should be like a full-head mullet: Party AND Business ALL AROUND!

So, I've chosen Aaron Patterson as my emulation march title.

Fierce Red Carpet Action

My Emulation March Activity

I vow to contribute to an open source project at least twice a week through the month of March.

I hope to build up a habit that will last longer than that, but Emulation March isn't about setting up expectations. I've even chosen my first open source contribution, which I'll push up in a couple days.

Who's your #emumarch inspiration?

[Update: My first contribution came in early by a day. Here is my gem based on Aaron's minitest-emoji. Mine adds RSpec support: Emoji-Test-Love)