My friends, colleagues and business contacts are often asking why I’m involving myself in OSS and community activities around PHP. The honest answer is that time dedicated to the community changed my personality and my career path in better ways. It was a great experience and I’d like to highlight the benefits and how to give something back.
My personal motivation is built up upon three things:
- I’m using PHP for more than 10 years and feel important to give something back
- PHP infrastructure is great and competing (frameworks, tools, conferences and more)
- A diverse community, the most important thing for PHP to keep evolving
Due to specific of my OSS activities, I’m interacting with multiple projects communities (mainly frameworks) and each of them has it’s unique maintenance and communication culture. Since those cultures are different, we can see those holy-wars articles as “X vs Y”, but because of this, we are getting a great set up for creating great PSR standards.
The frameworks diversity value is a power for moving standardization topics forward.
And the life not ends when you are looking outside of frameworks communities, as PHP itself and tooling for it is created by other individuals groups. The diversity of knowledge and value those groups are sharing is outstanding, here some examples:
- Testing: PHPUnit, Codeception, Behat, PHPSpec, Infection
- Debugging and profiling: XDebug, XHprof, Blackfire
- ORMs: Doctrine, Eloquent, Propel
- Code style: PHP Coding Standards Fixer, PHP Code Sniffer
The infrastructure and frameworks diversity values are in an opportunity to create solutions fitting business needs.
As you see diversity brings a lot of opportunities, which still needs to be discovered and evaluated. While it might not be on the surface when making a decision to be involved into OSS or not, the following criteria need to be considered:
- the tool (or framework) has a community you do enjoy working with
- you find the documentation great
- you find tickets handling great (how fast maintainers are responding, how good they are in communication and more)
The infrastructure and frameworks diversity brings also an opportunity to find an OSS community you enjoy working with. This is a great source of support and inspiration, take the best of it.
Now, dear reader, let’s take a step back to the diverse community: it created a lot of value and opportunities. A lot of individuals, like us, made it possible, as our experiences and ways of thinking are unique. That’s a treasure, which we could share with the community, inspire other people, find people with the same values out there.
Isn’t it great? If so, why not to give something back: reporting or fixing bugs and reviewing pull requests in your favorite OSS projects, attending and helping out local user groups, coaching your colleagues, writing articles and sharing your know-how? All that matters.
And if you have any feedback, don’t hesitate to reach me at Twitter (@kalessil), I’ll be happy to support you in the first steps discovering the community.