A couple of weeks ago, I shared an very simple open source plugin for WordPress called Markdown Code For WordPress.
The purpose of the plugin is simple:
I include a variety of snippets in my posts for which I get tired of adding markup every. single. time.
Over time, I’ve added support for just a few more tokens, but the bottom line is that the plugin is written to help make what I do just a little bit easier in my day-to-day.
If others find it useful, great! If not, no big deal, either. It’s available for free and I’ll even take a look at pull requests to see if it fits in the vision for what I want.
Keep Calm and Code On
At the same time, I’ll unapologetically (though respectfully!) decline pull requests that do not add value to something I created in order to make my blogging job easier.
Against Open Source?
I am all for open source and contributing to others’ projects. Don’t get me wrong – that’s part of what open source is all about, right?
But the thing is sometimes we have every-so-slightly different itches to scratch, so introducing a similar plugin into the market / ecosystem / whatever-term-you-want-to-use is okay.
Open source is not mutually exclusive with competition.
Sure, collaborating can foster innovation – and I love that – but it’s not the end-all-be-all of software development.
But It’s Your Project
So the next time that you’re working on your next app, your next plugin, your next, theme, your next project whatever it may be, don’t let the critical nature of others nor let the fact that something similar exists dissuade you from pursuing your work.
At the same time, don’t mistake critiques as masked feedback for ways to improve what you’re working on – listen to your customers or your users – and take what they are saying (as negative as it may be) and see if something can be excavated out of all the noise generated through the disrespect.
The bottom line is that your projects are still your projects. Sometimes, they will be improved by others; other times, they are all yours.
Whatever the case, know what you’re building, stay focused, and keep calm and build on.