I’ve recently had the honor of contributing to an open source project called ephemetoot. It’s a project by Hugh Rundle that auto-deletes your old Mastodon posts. I’ve wanted to contribute more to open source projects for a while now, but finding the right project is surprisingly hard to do.

Hugh’s project appealed to me for a couple of reasons: (1) I think it’s an awesome use case; (2) it’s a small code base that I could wrap my head around; (3) I’m enthusiastic about contributing to the Mastodon ecosystem; (4) Hugh is doing interesting work at the intersection of libraries and code.

Contributing has taught me some valuable lessons. I learned a few things about git. More importantly, I learned about collaborating on code with someone who I’ve never met. Up until now, most of the code I’ve written has been for myself. While I usually openly license my projects and on put them GitHub, they’re often written without that much thought about how others could use them. This approach needed a shake-up. Writing contributions for someone else’s project is a good catalyst to refocus on collaboration.

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