Are Developers Secret Santas Of The Information Age?Filed Under Thought Stuff
During this last holiday season, I read numerous new articles about ‘Secret Santas’ covertly donating thousands of dollars into bell ringers’ kettles. Always associating things with software, I instantly related it to my previous post about the selflessness of OSS developers. Just like ‘Secret Santas’, the more I am aware of their activity, the more I am humbled by these people.
Selflessly giving their time and knowledge to OSS projects, blogs, and forums; developers seem to give so much back into the community. Musicians, artists, scientists, doctors, whomever, all seem to have one thing in common – in the end they all want to be accredited for their work. Never have I seen a musician announce they have created a musical riff to allow anyone to sample, and I highly doubt the creator of the artificial heart didn’t ask for a dime.
As a result, I recently started to rethink an old thought if other careers care about their craft (or disciplines) as much as developers do.
Sure there are a lot of truly passionate occupations. Musicians and artists create works of beauty out of love for the craft, and scientists continually are hard at work solving the next big problem. Not to sound pretentious, but is it our craft’s unique stage of both engineering and craftsmanship that allows us to be more passionate?
So what makes developers uniquely give their knowledge and time away? Do we under estimate what our knowledge and time is worth? Is it our attempt to be part of the fundamental growth of our infant craft? Is this the way geeky introverts act in good will? What is it?