Open source software with open liquor

Published May 8, 2022

The tech industry relies a lot on open source software. In this episode, we are joined by Jesse Tomchak to talk with us about open source.

Guests

Picks

Panel

Episode transcript

Ryan Burgess
Welcome to a new episode of the front end Happy Hour podcast. From time to time, we've talked about open source open source is very important in our industry, and has been very helpful. I know in a lot of the things that I do in my job and others do. So in this episode, we're joined by Jesse chomh. Talk to talk with us about open source. Jessie, do you want to give us a brief introduction of who you are, what you do, and what your favorite happy are beverages? Jesse Tomchak Yeah, thanks, Ryan. I'm happy to be here. My name is Jesse Tomchak. I'm currently an architect at this dot consulting labs. I'm a recovering iOS developer, and recovering Objective C developer into JavaScript. And I love open source I we stand on the shoulders of giants. So when Jem said the topic was coming up, I was I was just jumped at the chance to talk about this because it's so important. My favorite Happy Hour beverages are ice cold brew. And Lacroix on that side. When it gets late. That that's that's where I'm at. I'm the I'm the guy driving

Ryan Burgess
nice. I mean, you cannot go wrong with a cold brew or Lacroix definitely top favorites of mine. Jesse Tomchak Sometimes you need both. You got two hands for the compliment nicely. Yeah, parallel. And I love the recovering iOS developer. Specially on the note of Objective C. Oh, man, it was a rough life. You didn't go down the road of Swift? Oh, no, I was there. So I started in oh, five and did Mac apps, iOS apps. And then swift came out and I was like, Oh, this is great. And then Swift 234 changes. And I'm like, this ecosystem is rough. And React Native was my gateway drug was just like, this is hot reload hot refresh of shipping bundles. I was on board. I was 100% on board with that. And here I am. That was

Ryan Burgess
a cool feature that I feel like working on the web for so many years. It's like, yeah, we just refresh. It's like super easy. But when you're building for mobile, it's like, wait, wait, you gotta wait for that build. And it's so like, having that hot Refresh is huge. Jesse Tomchak That like three minute build between just being able to see checks will kill your entire day. Right? It's just like, I make a few tweaks and like, okay, built and you just like, and this is a rebuild, not a new build just due to its brutal stuff. You could grab a cold brew in between, there was a lot of downtime. There was like, was I building? I should go check is this Did I check this build? I'll build again.

Ryan Burgess
All right. Well, that's a great time to introduce today's panelists. It's, it's really just Gemini as the panelists, Jem, you want to kick it off Jem Young engineering manager at Netflix. And I'm Ryan Burgess. I'm a software engineering manager at Netflix as well. In each episode of Front End, Happy Hour podcast, we love to choose a keyword that if it's mentioned at all, in the episode, we will all take a drink. What did we decide today's keyword is contract contributions, contributions? I think that will be a good one. I'm so glad we didn't choose like open source. Like I feel like that would just be ridiculous. So Jesse Tomchak another backup drink if you chose that.

Ryan Burgess
I feel like a lot of drinks at that point. All right, well, let's hop in. I mean, maybe the level set like when we say open source, what do we mean when we say open source, Jesse Tomchak so it's like free and available software's it like free as in beer or free isn't puppy

Ryan Burgess
both. And isn't always free, really like, it is in the sense that you may not be like monetizing, like our pain, but with money. But like, you know, it's not just everything doesn't come for free, just because you're having open source to Jesse Tomchak open sources is the idea that the the source code is out there, and someone who has put some amount of time and effort into building something and made it available for you. Right, you can use it without any guarantee or warranty. And, you know, we will probably get into this later about, you know, posting issues. And I mean, the idealistic way is I have this thing, I solved my problem, it's out here for you to use and solve a problem that you may have, and to change it and manipulate it any way you need. If you find it useful, contribute back to it, right. It's it's a sort of, village mentality of of growing together and not resolving the same issue over and over and over again, eventually packages, you know, libraries and open source get large enough that they become group collaborators in sort of a first hand a tool to reach for, you know, no one's going to rebuilds react or, you know, a DOM diffing tool other than for mental exercise or something new, maybe in reactive like spell kits or something like that. But the power of open source is that it's freely available for you to use change as needed. And what I think the part we forget a lot is to contribute back and not just post issues. It is not Twitter, right where you just sort of yell into the void and hope for the best. It's it's meant to be usable and interactive, right? You contribute and it take a penny leave a penny, right? We've all seen those dishes. I guess depends on your age at this point, maybe I'm giving myself away. When you used to go to the gas station you used to like go in and like get changed and put in the, in the in the paper money, right? What's maybe I honestly don't know the last time I had $1 in my wallet, I remember this as a child, but you would take a penny leave a penny, and there was, you know, if you were short two cents for a soda, there was usually two cents in there to help you out. And you would always put change back in there. So this sort of give and take is a balance that isn't, it's hard to sort of find that balance. And I don't know that I'm alive. We'll say right now, we've do not have that balance. Now. We're burning out people who are willing to contribute to both time, effort and emotion to this, this industry that runs everything underneath of our jobs. So that's my short definition of open source.

Ryan Burgess
I think it was a really in depth coverage of it. Like I think you did a great job summarizing it, Jem, anything you want to add?

Jem Young
No, I think Jesse covered it quite well, I would just add, when we talk about open source doesn't mean free like you all earlier, it just means you can view the source code. There's a lot of different licenses, which we'll talk about in a minute, we talk about business models, but that's all it means. I think people think open source means free. But that's just not the case just means like you can inspect it, all these other things. There's a lot of issues we have today in open source. Most of the world runs on some open source software, you can go into any app on your phone and go down to like, acknowledgments, or whatever. And you'll see you'll see the libraries. It's funny how much of the world runs on the work of like one or two people based on like some critical library. And we've seen when those go down, and they're like, they saw my job. It's a very demanding thing. Like it's very demanding to maintain a popular open source library. We'll talk about that a second. We have a lot to cover here.

Ryan Burgess
I mean, it's thankless to write like, a lot of times, it's a very thankless job to, you know, Jesse mentioned, like, throwing up issues like that can be stressful for the person on the other end, who's like, Jesse had mentioned someone who's just throwing library out there that's like, Hey, I found this useful. I built it, fathers can leverage it great. And that's awesome. Like being able to just throw that out to the world to take advantage of someone else's work is great. But I think that there comes this responsibility. And unfortunately, sometimes, too, like I've definitely done this where I've thrown things out there, I guess I didn't intend to spend a lot of my time on it was like, you know, here, I'm just throwing it out there to maybe save you some headache or time. But then those issues pile up and you're like, Yeah, you're right, like I missed that, or I didn't think that I would extend it that way. And that can be a burden. And so that can be stressful to like. And so I think that maybe as we talk about this, like, let's talk a little bit on the pros and cons, like I'm highlighting a con there right now, is that someone who creates an open source library that is a bit of a burden, but like what are some of the pros like on on creating open source? Yeah, I Jesse Tomchak think some of the pros like we there's, you know, from the selfish aspect, when I build a thing, and it works really well. And I put it out there and someone else uses it, or has feedback. It's like, oh, you saved me a whole day. That high, that sort of validation for me, is huge, right? I can I can ride that high all week, month. Like I mean, it's, it is such a dopamine hit to be able to be like, yeah, here's the thing, somebody else uses it. They thought it was helpful. It was, it was great. And the the other side of that coin is is like you said the issues piling up the guilt, the the feeling of responsibility to people that are using it that are outside of your own use case. You know, there's Henry xao, had a talk in 2018 it React Rally called through the, through the open source Looking Glass. And it was not a technical talk. And it was something that I think about a lot. I think he was out in the products out in the booth area with a cardboard box that just said babble donations on it, like scribbled in Sharpie, right? You guys may have been there. 2018 Yeah, we were there. And I was like, Is this for real? Is this like a joke? And he's like, Hey, do you have a few dollars to like put towards Babel, and I was like, You have everything in my wallet, dude. And that was that point where, you know, listening to his talk about the sort of mental sort of guilts and, like emotional stress that came with just looking at just working on Babel and be like the Babel spokesperson. And I don't think we really sort of understand, you know, unless you've been in that sort of accountability, that spotlight just the sort of drain that the community for better for worse, even when they're trying to be you know, where they're like, Hey, I've had this problem. It's not a big deal. Like I'm just gonna post this issue. But if 20 people do it, and you come in in the morning and you see This, like, we all know how that feels like when Pride goes down and your stomach sinks and you're just like, oh, like, there's this implicit ownership and responsibility. And even if they're just, you know, they're all really nice comments, you still feel that way. And it doesn't help when someone gets real nasty in there like, like the, you know, I think Jem was alluding to the J for log error. What's like, fix this bug? My billion dollar enterprise depends on it. It's like, pay me I don't I don't know what to tell you. Like. I think their emotional state is really hard. And we churn through, you know, over the the years, I've seen open source maintainers come and go, and great projects come and go. And where are they now? We could do a whole VH, one section on where are they now? Where they're just like, I don't open source anything, because I just get chewed up by the community. And there's no monetary reward at the end of this. And we'll probably get into the money down the road. But there's like, there's no end game for this other than what I see right now is a burnout cycle. Like there's no, there's no happy path, right? There's only there's only cycles of compost happening right now. And I don't know how to break that. And maybe as we talk about it, and sort of educate people, they'll think about Henry and that box that just says Babel donations, because the whole world runs on Babel, like JavaScript everywhere runs on Babel. Like, it's so crazy.

Ryan Burgess
And it has for years, too. It's not like this is a new library that people are like, Oh, this is cool. It's like no, no, no, this is it's been a long sustaining and used his talk was on point it really was, you definitely get a lot of empathy if you haven't really dealt with open source. And that's okay, if you haven't dealt with open source. And I don't think it's to say that you shouldn't submit an issue, you are helping in some ways, it just can sometimes feel it's crushing to you know, have to deal with that when you're not suspecting it, right? We all even deal with like, you just you've mentioned like the production bug, like, nobody's like, Hey, I'm waking up today and excited to deal with a production bug. And sometimes it railroads your day in it, and that the open source side can do that, too. I love doing things for the community. I think that that in itself, like Jesse said, it's like a high, it's good, it feels good to be able to help others. And like if your work can just save some some time or free them up. That's amazing. It just, it comes out. Sometimes I cost I even find it with this podcast, like we've been doing this for over six years. Now. years, it's a long time. And there's times where you get a lot of positive feedback that you've you know, helped people in so many ways, and it feels so great. And then there's the odd time that people give you feedback, they're they mean, well, it's constructive and to make it better. But there's times where you're like, I do this for free, like, you know, it's like this, this is my free time. It's like it costs money, all those little things they start to add up in it sucks, because it's like, it's not that I would never want to hear it either. Because you're like, well, you're helping make something better. But it's hard to kind of balance that I guess. And so I love that you call that out for the open source side of things.

Jem Young
Yeah, it's like, I don't know, increasingly, I'm realizing we kind of had a golden age and maybe I don't have 2010 for the internet. What I mean is there we kind of grew up with this entitlement of the Internet where everything's free. Like I people want to go to my blog and read something I wrote on a Linux server or something like that, that cost me money. Like I have to host that I have to pay for that. But like there's this implicit. Yeah, that's okay. I'm willing to forego some of my income to like better the internet better the community. The same thing goes for a lot of services, we use our free like Slack, you can there's a free tier, Twitter, Facebook, like all these services, Google are free. So people get used to that as like, oh, the internet should be free. And don't want to take that one step further beyond like, well, who's paying for this in some way. And the same thing goes for open source, which is, people, these billion dollar corporations depend on it. It goes down everybody, there's a bug, someone gets really, really angry about it, ah, this jerk maintaining this library, who's doing it for free, because they want to do it, they want to give back in the spirit of the internet. But there's no like, again, as a community as a as a population, a human population. We never take that step further and say, Hey, how can we support these things? How can we keep the web web pages alive? How can we make sure the world doesn't run on ads? But we haven't. And it's just like the cycle of like Jesse was saying, burning through these open source contributors who put their time and effort to build something really cool, release it to the world, do their best to maintain it, but over time, they realize this is a full time job and trying to keep up with the one person running Arch Linux, three versions back and have an issue with like Firefox, like trying to solve like these really bespoke issues, and dealing with people that are really angry about it. It's just like, why, like why why would I Why should I? So it's just I don't know, we still never come to that reckoning. Yet. We see it time and time again where people pull their open source packages as is their right it's their code. They You can pull it, the internet goes down, because it's some dependency of dependency of dependency of dependency, because, you know, shout out to, yeah, left that. And then we're like, oh, this is outrageous. Let me clone this. And then GitHub steps in and clones it. And like, there's all sorts of like, dubious things with someone else's code. And we're like, how dare they? But like, what have we given back to them? That they don't have this, right? So I don't know, I see it more and more, and it does bother me. It bothers me when people like Henry, say, like, I can either have a full time job, or I can maintain Babel and keep the internet running. But I can't do both. And people were like, Yeah, do that. But no one, no one would donate money. So it's just, I don't know, it's a model that takes advantage of human human goodness, human like people wanting to give back. But it's just people take and take and take and take. But no one wants to submit a pull request to fix or donate money or do anything really, we just like to complain, Jesse Tomchak I looked at that, that sort of choice of maintaining Babel or living wage like a usable, you know, I know, in the software industry, we often get paid large, largely compared to other industries. But you know, when Henry was talking, he was talking to a living wage in New York, right? He could get a real job, and you'll get a software job, he would make less than, you know, I wouldn't even have enough to pay for an apartment, maintaining Babel. And so I went to open collective, which is, you know, if you're not familiar, open Collective is a sort of like transparency accounting book for donations and receipts and reporting for open source, libraries, packages, and things like that. I think Webpack was on it many years ago. And you can go there and be like, Okay, what does Babel spend money on? And I'm looking at these numbers, and then you can go down to see who gives money to Babel. And it's certainly I think Adobe is in there for like a couple $1,000. And like, you know, there's a couple companies that have over the span of like, four years have given handful of dollars, but it's mostly just people. And as I'm looking at this page, and I'm thinking, Where, Where's all this money, and all this profit, and all this revenue, and all the stock markets and all the everything that's going on, and they're paying SAS companies and slack, you know, they're paying their slack bill or their AWS bill. And it's like, where is like, where's enough money to just give like three or four people to run it, like, you know, just just to do the work? And I don't know, I look at that. And I just think that we're so far from where we need to be with this. You know, and when we started, I said, I don't have the answers. And I don't know what this looks like. But I think I'm with Jem, our reckoning is coming. And it's, it's going to be really difficult when it does, whether it's tough choices, or just broken products, or what it might be. But I think what will likely happened in the human in the human trait is people in the community will step up to shoulder that burden. And not and not not the enterprises, or the businesses or the revenue streams or those things unless there is adequate motivation for shareholders, right, at the end of the day. I don't know what that's like, either. No one in this community is is is interested in or developed in actuation, or shareholder stock or business revenue or marketing or, like, that's not our deal. That's why we're here. That's why we're software development. Because we don't do that other stuff. That's hard. I don't want to do it. Marketing is hard. To software software, for me is makes sense. But we need other people, other types of people in the community to help us figure this out. Because we I think we've shown over the last couple decades as developers, we can't do this. We're not business focused as a community, we're we're panhandling, essentially. And it's not going well.

Ryan Burgess
It's funny, too. You mentioned the like other companies, right? Or that, like companies are just throwing, like I say, Adobe, it's throwing a couple 1000. And I also don't know that it's even the company's fault that they're not doing it because it's they're almost unaware, right? When they have to pay for the Amazon bill like AWS, or they have to pay for Photoshop licenses or whatever they have to pay for it, versus the open source pieces of it. I think some like the higher up people who deal with budgets for software, they may not even be aware that, ya know, our teams are actually using a lot of this open source software that we could be contributing back to. And so I think some of it is just like helping with that education, too. It's not like, hey, it's a requirement. Like that's right now, it's not a requirement to pay for it. But I think that that's maybe part of the problem. It's not, but then also, it's like they're just unaware too. So I also want to call that out is like, it's not that companies are like, Oh, I don't want to give to that free thing. It's like they may not even Be aware, maybe that's something we can do as a community is like, try and make companies better understand that there's going to be someone inside those companies that are aware, the engineers are definitely aware of that. But they're not thinking like, Oh, hey, we should go up to upper management and say, like, Hey, we should be tossing like 30k a year to this project, because we use it so much. And we're so dependent on there are

Jem Young
solutions, though, not to get down on corporations, because you know, corporations, something like the open JS Foundation, which backs node which is part of the Linux Foundation, like corporations and join that pay their dues, and which gets distributed out to the all these open source projects, which are critical. I'm proud to say Netflix is a member of the open J's Foundation. Because other than that, it's very difficult to say, Oh, we use Babel. Let me track down the Babel maintainer find out who to donate to it gets really difficult. It is like you hold out a business problem. Jesse Tomchak Yeah. And it's, we've we've made it really difficult to give us money, right? So like, you're right, Jem, corporations are not big, bad, evil companies. We, they're there. They serve a purpose. But they're certainly not the only bad actor here. They if they're if every corporation had $100,000 and was ready to pay tomorrow, where on earth would they give it? Where would they go? We like we're paddling with our hands out, but there's no vehicle for them to be like, hey, we want to give you money. How do we do that? Like it's all it's we're not making it very easy. Are we? Yeah,

Jem Young
it's it's a business problem, which I think a few people have tried to solve. Not super successfully. GitHub has like donations now sponsors, right? Yeah, there's open collective, which is another good foundation to join, and they distribute money. But again, developers doing things as a passion project aren't thinking, oh, actually get paid for this. They just like take on this burden and burden burden, and then they burn out. And then we just lose quality engineers donating quality software to the world because like we can't give them a little bit. Shifting topics slightly. This one, this one's a little little gnarly. So I want to hear what you all think. So I gem in creating gem Corp software. Let's say it's a blogging platform, I open source it as as a good community steward, Ryan and Jesse you to contribute in the form of prs. You're not part of the company at all. But you just contribute because you use it you like it, you you'd like the ethos of this really simple, lightweight blogging platform. So we do this for a couple of years. And then I say, You know what, I think I want to make some money off this. I'm going to now take this open source project, turn it into a business and start selling it for money, like selling the different suites of support, things like that. Where did you all sit on ethics of I'm now making money off the work that you did, in good faith. But this is a real situation a lot of companies do or they get help from the community. And then now I'm making money based off of the work you did. But yeah, I don't I still don't know where I stand on this. There's nothing inherently wrong with it. But it just seems on the slightly shady side. I don't know. I'm curious, your your thoughts. Jesse Tomchak I think the shady side comes in. So if we play this scenario out, and you take gym co blogging, which is this great indie platform that got a huge bump when everyone left Twitter, right, and you're like, I'm gonna Sass this, it's gonna be great. So now you have a a hosting version of jimco. Blogging, right? It's maybe five bucks a month. And nobody has to deal with the software. And it's got a cool interface, and people can post and you know, it's in Markdown, and everybody loves it, right. It's got to feed as someone who has contributed to it, and maybe I'm, I'm running my own sort of generated Jessie blog that's built on the same engine. My emotions tell me that as long as your core engine stays open source, and you are providing hosting, and you know, AWS or distributed CI CD builds that maybe I have, like, you know, Ryan's got his he works in like GitHub actions. And like, I was like, oh, circle CI works great, because I got these cool notifications when it totally bombed like, you know, we have our own sort of pipeline or bespoke pipelines that we're all so much that we enjoy so much setting up. Yes. Right. Everyone's favorite. And but you have yours and you're like, this is this is great. This is easy for people to do. It's on AWS, it runs in lambdas. It's awesome. You know, that infrastructure as a service that you're offering, I think is fantastic. That tells me that this project might be around a little bit longer, so I'm okay with this. But as someone who's contributed knowledge and you know, we've talked back and forth you know, we're caught colleagues, we're members of the group you know, we banter on on pull requests and issues and stuff like that, and I think as long as you keep the project open, and run your business in a different way I'm thinking in my head of like VSL hosts and does a ton of stuff. But next, Jas continues to be open source, but not open contributions. Right? I think that, you know, there's, there's, we haven't talked about this yet, but there's open source, you can see the source and then there's not just anybody can contribute and come in, but we're probably unless we know you will just gonna close it or bumpit or Autobot it or something, right. We don't have to listen to everybody. And I think that's a lesson that we've learned over the last couple years. But emotionally, I'm okay with that. Jem is doing a great job. He's running this business, he leaves his job and he's running jimco blogs, you know, he's on that the MMR train and he's talking to builders found, you know, he's on Build your SAS and he's talking, you're this is how I built my business. And it was open source and work late night, and now it hosts and, you know, and I'm a contributor that just runs the engine. Think WordPress think, you know, there's your pain I pay, I would even be like, you know, at a certain point, like I did this with microdot blog for Matt and Reese, who's an indie project, I pay him five bucks a month. Because it's a great project. Do I've moved my blog over to it? I've moved it away. I've moved it back, you know, as a developer does every 30 days, I moved my blog. I don't write content. I just moved the I just move in. But I emotionally am okay with this. Ron. I'm curious to see like from your standpoints? You know, we've done a ton of PRs together over the last couple years, we have like, casual, you know, we meet up at conferences and like, are you okay, with Jem making a business out of this?

Ryan Burgess
Yeah, I actually echo a lot on how you feel about it. I do think that to Jem's company, that he doesn't owe us anything, because we have this open source handshake of how things were being built in the first start. And it's a little blurry, right? Like, it's not a contract. Like if this makes money, then like we're awarded 25%, or anything like that, like none of those types of agreements have been ever made. Now, I do actually think that Jem now making money off that could in good faith, say, hey, what can I do for you guys, like you, you've been big part of this, like, a lot of the work was helpful there. And I don't think he owes us like a percentage of the company. I don't think it's like anything major. It could be even just like, Jesse, it could be your hosting, or whatever that may look like, or it's like, Hey, I'm gonna give you guys some swag or anything, like just some recognition or even calling that out as like part of the community, like just putting recognition. I think companies can do that. Like, I don't think that there has to be this massive now is a billion dollar company. And I should own a percentage of that. That doesn't make sense. But I think that companies can, there's no reason they couldn't say like, Hey, I appreciate your help. And just calling that out. Maybe it is just like literally a message. I appreciate your help. And it's been so critical. And thank you so much. Is there something I can do for you? I think that would maybe go a long way if companies would just even go that to that world. Jesse Tomchak Yeah, I think the I liked the idea. There was I think, is it Kent that has a package of like contributors that that gets tagged on projects, where it's like, there's a that contributors with everybody's badge and names that just sort of continues to roll as as you have seen that before. It's like auto auto generating the contributor list. I mean, that goes a long ways in helping me get my next job, right in the industry is I'm like, oh, you know, Jem Copic blog. Here. Here's the link to contributors. Meyers, my name right there. Hosting, I think would be like, if you popped in and said, Hey, I'm standing this up, you know, it's five bucks a month, you guys are giving me you know, I'm gonna put both your emails in as a free tier for life. As long as I'm, as long as I'm in business, you know, I know you run your own thing. But if you want to use it great. If not, that's cool, too. You know, I think there's a lot of ways and a lot of different ways to show appreciation both. Otherwise, how does Jem pay us? Does he Venmo us? Right? This goes back to like making it easy to pay us? Does he sponsor us on GitHub for like, $3 a month for a year or two? And then we drift apart? And eventually someone comes and goes, who are these two? Why are we paying that? $6 a month? You really are I remember John, when he was just one of us. Before big Gemco? Yeah, it's an interesting sort of dynamic of like, and then. So now he's got a company do we continue to contribute? Right, because we're still using it.

Ryan Burgess
And maybe because we still see benefit. And maybe we're monetizing, like we have blogs that are actually really popular. And we're getting monetization off that maybe I don't care as much as to Jesse's point where it's like, Hey, as long as I still am able to do what I do with the open source software, like, great, that's what I got. I contributed to get it to the point where I needed it that can be beneficial to and so that's why I don't think it necessarily has to be this like hard and fast rule. I think that there's ways where it's just recognition goes such a long way like even to that like badging of contributors or Yeah, give me free hosting for for life, like for $5 a month that it's not going to be that costly to the company either. But I also don't think I'm entitled as a contributor to get $3 for life for a month or something like that like that. doesn't really seem right.

Jem Young
But that's all fair. What it boils down to it's not just open source software, I think it's the idea of corporations and businesses making money off of people's passion. And I can think of a million examples like say, I really get to street art, I like to do it on sidewalks, a company comes and takes a picture puts on a shirt, so I'm selling it for a lot of money. When I was just like trying to put something beautiful in the world, like it can

Ryan Burgess
I have so many questions on that one? Yeah,

Jem Young
I know you do. That's why pick Street. I think inherently I think open source is a good thing. I think it does allow us a junior developers to get experience and exposure that they wouldn't get, oftentimes. And I think it it allows you to like take your hobby and your passions and turn into something useful that you can share with the world. That is something really powerful, and something that that is not easily replicated in other ways that we can only do in software. However, there is this balance of like, people reaching in and trying to take advantage of that. And it's it's a weird tension we have as a community where we don't know where the line is, because we want support open source, but we're probably not generally for people spinning up private versions of their software. And, and we're generally against closed source software, but we won't do much support open source software. And so like, I don't know, I like what you said right about the open source handshake, because that's really what it is, is like, Hey, I contribute your project. Hopefully, if it takes off or something like you'll remember me and, you know, that's the that's the arrangement we have. But yeah, I don't know, I've just seen a go ride. I just see it going further in one direction, which is people taking advantage of it and not giving back. Jesse Tomchak Yeah, and there's even so, you know, we've we've talked about single individuals, and let me present the different scenario, business to business now. So like when MongoDB changed their terms and conditions and licensing, maybe a couple of years ago. So MongoDB is open source, and they stood up a service called Atlas, I believe, but you could also get MongoDB on AWS for dirt cheap, and they were just running instances of MongoDB for you. MongoDB as a service. Well, the company MongoDB you know, wasn't benefiting you know, any anywhere in that monetarily. Right, there's 1000s, hundreds of 1000s of instances run across AWS and Mongo is over here. Like cool, we maintain that. So they changed their licensing. That's like look, if you're going to service this we get a cut. Right? It's very marketplace sort of driven. Look, if you're just an individual and you're going to run it on bare metal Have at it. You know, how do we feel about that? I get the sense that we're more like oh, yeah, business to business cutthroat getting, but the the community itself did bubble up quite a bit. It was like whoa, you changing your terms and conditions on us like change. Whoa, like there was a big kerfuffle. kerfuffle, that that's that's not the word today is it? Its contribution, contribution. Oh, that's

Ryan Burgess
a good contribution. Jesse Tomchak Contribution, cheers Jerry's years. Next time, it'll be kerfuffle. And it'll never come.

Jem Young
I'll just say like, there's lots of instances of it, not just Mongo nginx is another one that was open source. And then when they have the business version now, which to me makes sense. Half the world runs on Apache, half the world runs on Nginx. It's a good business model. I have no problem with that at all. It's, it's still just a fine line. And you're right, we get the pitchforks out when people like how dare you try to make money and hire quality software engineers produce quality software, when it was free and open source, but it's like, okay, let's take this out further, further, who's gonna maintain this stuff, like some some person in a garage doing for free? Is that really what you want your, your company database to be built on? So again, we like go back and forth, but we can't find that middle ground where it's like, this is acceptable, I'm willing to pay for this. And I'm willing to contribute open source to, like, I don't know.

Ryan Burgess
So, alright, as a now, you know, Jesse and I, in this scenario are contributors to me, we're contributors to multiple projects, like, as someone who contributes to open source, what ways can I actually like maybe feel better by making some money? Like, you know, Henry, you know, we mentioned a couple of things here, where it's how do they we help those people it could be, you know, GitHub sponsorship, it could be donating to projects, but like, what are some ways in which like, the open source engineer, can be be maybe it is marketing themselves better, but like, what could they be doing to maybe monetize and make a bit of money Jesse Tomchak I would be interested. So if, when you go to a company, or you position for any job, we often talk about educational or training budget. Right? One of the things that we I always ask are many of us ask us like, hey, how much money do are you willing to pay me for a conference like pay my ticket for a conference or a book or? Honestly, I think the book is harder for people to I then a conference. But like video, like give me a subscription in front of masters or to a CAD IO, right? These are things we openly ask about. If every software engineer had the same idea was like, you know, I want you to contribute to this GitHub person on my behalf, like $5 a month, what if all of us in our job had an addendum or said like, Yeah, as long as I work here, you will contribute $5 to this person, that's that on a small amount, adds up to a lot. And if that's, you know, maybe that becomes a movement or an idea, that is part of compensation. For every engineer you hire is five bucks to someone at GitHub, who, whoever that person deems appropriate. You know, and I don't know how GitHub sponsorship works, I think you just add a list and cut a monthly check. That seems pretty easy from accounting standpoint to be like, Okay, what's our GitHub, but you know, we pay, you know, Egghead io for how many licenses? Okay, we pay GitHub sponsors, how many people do we have on staff, right, it becomes a, a volume number at that point. And that sort of lifts all boats.

Ryan Burgess
I like that. And even actually, companies like GitHub, I don't want to build features for them, or suggest what they're doing for their business. But maybe it is, is making it very easy for companies to have like, a way in which it's like the, you know, for Netflix, it's like the Netflix employees have that benefit of your their upper limit of $5 month that they can put to wherever they feel like and not like budgeted for and paid for the yearly rate. That would be interesting.

Jem Young
I think, I guess my pushback against that idea, Jesse with corporations would just say, well, you can do what you want with your money. That's not That's not our job. Or we'll just subtract $5 from your paycheck and give it to you, which is the same as you doing with your money, except you just have less choice. And I think that's a general stance when I hear about open source and like, Hey, we should donate more. People are like, Yeah, but who do you donate to you can do what you want with your money, we, we pay you. And there's nothing stopping us as developers from giving $5 a month? Anyways, I don't know if offloading it to corporations or businesses is the right move, it would work. But it doesn't really accomplish what we're trying to accomplish wishes. We should give more credit and more contributions to open source and like we as engineers should be aware of that, which I don't think the awareness is even there at our level Jesse Tomchak now. Yeah, you're right. The the I think I got maybe got ahead of myself, as far as doling out cash. The awareness is a real struggle. No, but

Jem Young
cash. It's a good idea. It's just, I don't know I going back to my earlier rant on entitlement. A lot of us engineers are entitled, look at your MTM. NPM modules become many 1000s to install every single time. When's the last time you donated to anybody in that list? Probably never. And like, right, there's is the problem. And GitHub has made it easier. There's a lot of easy ways to do it now. But like we just don't NPM has Jesse Tomchak even made it easier, right? When you run NPM there's literally a donation link to put in your package that comes up as a prop in the terminal in your face. Yep. Yeah. It's literally like right there. And I would suspect that that bump has proved to be non existent, since they implemented it. Right. Jem's nodding his head. He's thinking yeah, like I, I think we all know that. I look at that every day and go,

Jem Young
oh, so NPM fund, Fu, nd you can run it right now. It gives a list of everybody all the software using and it has, if they have it available, it gives links where you can donate to every piece of software in there, if they have it available. How many people know about that command? How many people have run it?

Ryan Burgess
I learned about it today on this podcast. Jesse Tomchak I am this years old. As I learned about it. I've never I've seen it in the feed. But I've never run it separately on a project.

Jem Young
It's and again, I don't I don't know who could solve this problem. I don't like where people are talking about like, hey, what if I inject ads into this because this is a full time project, I need to get paid some way nobody's donating. I put ads in there, which people have done and then like people get so angry about it. But no one takes that anger and channels into something productive like donating. So I don't know where we at like is it going to be every time you run a package it's just take some something from a like a crypto wallet and donates to everybody you installed. And you have to keep that funded if you want to keep NPM running. I don't know. But like, I don't think the current pace is sustainable. We just add software matures and become reliant on a piece of technology. If only one or two people in the world know how it works. We need to make sure they keep working on that and keep getting them paid. And it's only going to get worse as tech matures. And we as an open source. Users mature Jesse Tomchak Yeah, I I think the idea of running these things like the getting the community to a point where we all understand at an individual level and a company level and a business level on a county level. About the pay the monetary values of both and source, do we lead with the stick about guilts? And try and you know, when we're educating the community, like, how, what strings do we pull on to, to get movement here? You know, guilt is a pretty strong motivator. Not not the, you know, long is not the best feeling, yes, probably probably not the best, you know, you can shame me into giving you money, I probably give you money at a certain point, and then I'm going to feel vindictive about, you make me feel bad. But I don't know what what is the process of education here, like, you know, when we talk about accessibility and other problems and spaces in the industry, education and is very positive. It's very like, look, this is the best way, this is how we need you to do it. Like they just beat that drum over and over and over again. What is our open source? Contribution drum contribution?

Ryan Burgess
Cheers. Well done. No, that resonated with me a lot. Jesse, accessibility has come a long way. And it's it's been hard. This has been I've seen it get better over the years. But it's still like, I wish it was, I wish we were further along. But a lot of it is just like, engineers don't know what they don't know. Right? And so when you start to educate and understand, like, some of the accessibility things are very simple, like, well, as your building is, once you learn it, you're just like, oh, yeah, I make sure that I put an alt tag or, or whatever it is, like, these are simple things that just become best practices. And so maybe it is, is having better education and just having people think about that, because I don't think that as we talk, I don't think there is a one size fits all solution for open source. Like there just really isn't like we talked about corporations, how could they contribute? How could that individual contribute now? And do we expect that individual who's kind of doing some fun side project? Should they get charged automatically for this? No, that's part of the open source is that things are free for a good reason. And you know, there's a lot of benefits to it. And so I think that it's not a one size fits all, but like the education side of it goes such a long way. So maybe on that note, we I think we've covered a lot of amazing things on open source. I enjoyed this conversation, great time to jump into pics of things that we found interesting for our listeners. Jeremy want to start it off,

Jem Young
I have one pic today. As I think many of our front end happier regulars know I'm a big fan of Formula One, I think drive to survive on Netflix changed a lot of people's minds about what a great sport it is. It's the pinnacle of motorsport. Recently, I came across a different show, different racing series. It's called Moto GP, unlimited, it's on Amazon Prime. So essentially, it strived to survive. But for Moto GP, for those of you who don't know, it's the equivalent of Formula One. But for motorcycle racing, I'm gonna say this as a fiery take. I think it's better than drive to survive. It gives like way more in depth behind the scenes, like you see, like real conversations that team principals have, you get to go behind and see like that, how difficult is being a steward and like keeping people in the rules and you get to get like a lot more access than you get and drive to survive without any kind of manufactured drama between drivers. It's just all it's a sequential following. So race by race, you get to see what happens over the season rather than that weird kind of jumping around that traverse survived those Jesse Tomchak more documentary like than drama real real life drama tv.

Jem Young
Yeah, but the drama that's there is real. It's not manufactured. It's just like, you know, there's, there's an episode where a younger writer in Moto GP to, like crashes and dies. And just like you can see the impact it has on the rate, I won't I won't get into it, but like it's a very emotional episode. Like I was emotional by the end. And it captures that without adding any, like fake drama to it. It's just like, This is real life. These are real people dealing with racing on the edge of life or death situations, and they know it and every time they get on that bike, it's just they're pushing as hard as they can. Plus if you've never seen Moto GP, like them taking quarters, Jesse Tomchak I was gonna ask Are these the ones Moto GP is where they're like hopping up knee out bike down to

Ryan Burgess
like, like the knee is like sliding on the ground.

Jem Young
There. Their head is literally inches from the pavement. Yeah, and like, you know, 120 150 miles an hour and it's just like the excuse I like there's the balls on these people to get on this bike and do it over and over again and they fall. They crash all the time. I don't know how they just safety equipment is better and they're better at falling, but I highly recommend checking it out. It's worth watching if you can't tell I'm a I'm a big fan of it. And that's my pic.

Ryan Burgess
Awesome. Jesse What do you have for pics for our listeners? Jesse Tomchak That sounds intense. Mine is not that intense. I have two picks. My first pick is microdot blog. It's a microdot blog is a built open indie web platform by Martin Rees. him and Daniel jacket host core tuition, longtime iOS developers, but he's moved into the web community and builds on open standards this sort of everyone has a blog and a domain page. And then there's a feed that runs through for people you to follow. So everyone has their own pages, and then there's a feed that you can join or not join. And it's it's very sort of like, not Twitter blog. I just run the blog. I rarely go to the feed, but it's open and it's and it's great and it's, it's, it's I pop in there every once in a while and it's just a wonderful place of wonderful people posting pictures. It handles images really well and and so I would check it out microdot blog, my, my other pic is when you get to entertainment is killing Eve season four. If you've not seen the British show by killing Eve, it is mind bending and you need to go watch all of it just binge it all now. That's my take,

Ryan Burgess
which is a good reminder. I really liked that show. And I forgot that there's a new season notes. So you've sold me already. I'm like, yes. Oh, God. It's awesome. All right, well, I have two picks for today's episode. One is maybe intense on on a sports level gym, but not the motorcycle. Intense. I've watched the HBO documentary Tony Hawk until the wheels fall off. Damn is really good documentary, really following a lot of his career. Like they even have some really old footage of him as like, a 11 year old or like really young skateboarding in pools and it was just it was really cool. And to kind of see how he's evolved in his career. And also speaking with some of the other people who are pro skaters at that time. It's just a really good documentary. I really enjoyed it. Definitely a lot of intense injuries and things like that two that they cover. So really good one to watch on HBO. And then my second pick is a rap album that just came out the snack the Ripper album, let it rip really cool Canadian rapper in Vancouver. Just I really enjoyed the album. I've listened to it a few times already. So that's my second pick. Jesse, thank you so much for joining us. With this conversation. I feel like we probably could do like six episodes in depth on open source in so many ways. I really enjoyed the conversation. If people are looking to get in touch with you, where can they reach out to you? Jesse Tomchak Yeah, the best place to reach me is on Twitter at J Tom shock. J. T. Om Chak. I'm here to talk all open source contributions, anything you're up for mentoring and anything else in the deaf community. I'm here for it.

Ryan Burgess
Awesome. On Thank you for listening to front end happy hour. You know where to find this. Typically, if you're a regular listener, front end, HH on Twitter, any last words

Jem Young
NPM fund Jesse Tomchak and broaden fund that's a wonderful, thank you so much, guys. This was amazing. I hope this is the start of an education. NPM fun.

Ryan Burgess
Awesome. Thank you for your contributions. Cheers. Cheers. Cheers.