An OSS Education

Open source started out as a fun hobby for me when I was learning to code professionally. Little did I know that it would soon turn into my profession, literally changing my life in the process. I wouldn’t say that the same can happen to everyone, but I’ve learned a lot on this journey the past few years that should illuminate what it’s like to put your career in the hands of open source. That being said, here’s my story: I started app development a few years ago, following the ‘fake it ‘till you make it’ principle. I then published three truly terrible ‘indie’ apps, then talked my way into a job/internship with a tiny startup who had previously contracted out their iOS app. And then, one day, everything changed when I found an amazing open source framework that I began to use in my own apps. After meeting this library’s maintainer, they let me start working on this really technical OSS library with nearly no experience with that sort of work. Then, last Spring, I picked up CocoaPods development on a whim when I got bored the first week of the quarter at college. I even got to spend three months working on CocoaPods full-time. I now work for a company whose product is open source. Along the way, I’ve picked up a real love of discovering the ‘perfect’ way to build stuff. And I’ve gotten to work on open source for a living. I’ve been living out a dream, but I’m sure you can apply some of the lessons I’ve learned to your own career.

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About the content

This content has been published here with the express permission of the author.

Samuel Giddins

Sam’s hobby of contributing to open source projects while learning to code professionally soon became his true profession. He’s a core committer to CocoaPods, a maintainer of RestKit, and even a Stripe Open-Source retreat grantee. Currently, Sam works at Realm as an iOS developer. ✋

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