I pondered the title of this post for a few minutes today. I almost went with “What have you done for me lately?” but decided not to.
The point of this post is giving back to the community that has given us so much. In my early days learning Ruby on Rails I got so much free help from so many people and resources. I now earn my living using open sourced software that does not cost me a penny. There are a zillion free sites for learning RoR as well as paid sites. The point is, we all should return the favor and give back to the community.
One of the biggest Rails companies out there is Thoughtbot. We all use free open sourced tools that they created like Factory Girl, Paperclip, Capybara Webclip, etc.. They could very easily charge for these tools and we would all happily pay for them. How do they do it? Taken from the Thoughtbot website:
We invest Fridays in ourselves
Our fundamental expectation for ourselves is delivering excellent work for clients Monday-Thursday. We use Fridays for personal development, contributing to open source projects, mentoring apprentices, sharing lessons learned on the blog, and making internal tools to make our jobs easier and more fun
Now tell me that these guys do not kick ass!!! Now they are not the only ones that are giving back. Go count all of the Ruby gems out there!!!
So what is Rebel Outpost doing to give back to the community? We have the RailsCRM which is getting close to alpha. It can be used already if you want a no fluff, just the right stuff Customer Relations Management (CRM) system. Check it out and if you would like to make changes, go ahead and fork it, change it, and submit a pull request. If you have ideas or suggestions, please email me.
Last week I release Rebel Outpost Foundation which is a foundation starter app. We are constantly making new rails applications so this foundation is to be used as our starting point. This is also designed to be bare bones with not styling but comes loaded with all of our favorites like Mongodb, Mongoid, Devise, SASS, HAML, Pry and more. There is (hopefully) a pretty good explanation in the readme file for setting it up and deploying it on Heroku. If you try it out and find any issues, again, please let me know.
So, what else? Well, I am really trying to balance everything so that I can start putting out my “Rails, now what?” screencasts and I think that I would like to create an easy to use RoR Content Management System (CMS) in the not so distant future.
So remember the community that gives you so much and show a little gratitude by giving back to it.