It was first week of January 2014 and as usual I was browsing through Hacker News. I don’t exactly remember how, but by chance I stumbled upon Discourse. At first when I looked at it, I thought, yet another Rails app! yuck! so uncool.
Even though I didn’t liked Discourse at first but out of curiosity I looked through Discourse GitHub repo, that was the first time I learned about Jeff Atwood. I visited his blog and I was blown away by the quality posts he had written. It was then, I found these two hidden gems, which changed my approach towards technology:
“The Magpie Developer” post was a life-changer for me. Instantly after reading that post I realized that I was a Magpie Developer. I was constantly running after some yet to be released cool framework and it was not helping.
This extract from “Why Ruby?” was like a cherry on top of the cake:
Ruby isn’t cool any more. Yeah, you heard me. It’s not cool to write Ruby code any more. All the cool people moved on to slinging Scala and Node.js years ago. Our project isn’t cool, it’s just a bunch of boring old Ruby code. Personally, I’m thrilled that Ruby is now mature enough that the community no longer needs to bother with the pretense of being the coolest kid on the block. That means the rest of us who just like to Get Shit Done can roll up our sleeves and focus on the mission of building stuff with our peers rather than frantically running around trying to suss out the next shiny thing.
To confess, I was high. Yes I was high on the next big thing in technology. In the words of Jeff, I was a Magpie Developer. I didn’t realized but I had already wasted 10 precious months of my life wandering through the wilds of technology. I looked through each and every language/framework I can, and everytime I found something cool/interesting, I felt like I was about to learn something that will change the course of future technology, but I was wrong.
Then I realized that I began this never ending search after I first discovered Ruby/Rails, and I was constantly looking for The Next Ruby/Rails.
This time I wanted to give Discourse a serious look, out of respect for Jeff, and boy, was I wrong. It was extremely delightful to look at Discourse source code with the peace in mind that I am learning the language that I loved at first sight.
I started concentrating on Ruby/Rails and I found out that instead of running after The Next Big Thing/Language/Framework, it was extremely peaceful to work in a language you enjoy reading and writing. I finally made my peace with Ruby/Rails/Ember.
Recently I wrote a guide for beginners to install Discourse and I didn’t expected it, but the response was awesome! In fact, Jeff forked the guide and made it as the official installation guide for Discourse beginners!
I can’t explain the joy I felt when people actually learned from the guide and thanked me for it. This wouldn’t have happened if I would have continued running after the next big thing, instead of focusing on building stuff and at the same time helping community.
Recently Ruby turned 21, and I am proud that I sticked with it, not only because I find pleasure in writing Ruby, but also because I can focus on getting things done. In the words of Jeff:
The rest of us who just like to Get Shit Done can roll up our sleeves and focus on the mission of building stuff.