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ApacheCon Hackathon: Rediscovering my religion.

Posted by monsonhaefel on November 17, 2003 at 8:01 AM PST

I have to admit that over the past couple of years I've lost my some of my enthusiasm for the IT industry. It seemed like the only thing that people cared about was making lots of money and becoming the next Bill Gates.

Fortunately, I was saved here at ApacheCon in Las Vegas. I rediscovered my religion, programming. For the past 36 hours I've been working along side some of the smartest people I've met. Hanging out at the ApacheCon Hackathon (an informal communion of Apache committers) with the likes of David Blevins, Dain Sundstrom, Jeremy Boynes, James Strachan, David Jencks, Bruce Snyder, Hiram Chirino (in no particular order) and many others. These guys have been banging away on their keyboards for the past 48 hours working furiously for the shear pleasure of it. Watching them work together from early morning until ... well early morning, was incredible. I've never seen a more motley crew (the dirty half dozen) come together in such perfect harmony. This is what team work is supposed to be. These are the guys every recruiter dreams about. I'm surrounded by the hardest working, most intelligent and personable people I've met in years. Geek took on new meaning for me this past weekend. Its not about all those geek stereo types, its about passion. These developers are passionate about writing really good software and they are probably most capable people you will ever meet.

It was exhilarating to work along side these people. It was also humbling, but in a good way. I learned that you can still be excited about your work. That coding is an end in-and-of itself. That open source software is to commercial development what fine art is to commercial art. It's pure. It's free from business managers and sales people and apathy. If you've lost your love for programming, then get involved in open source.

I've rediscovered why I became a developer in the first place. I had forgotten what its like to work with great software engineers and to be excited about solving technical problems. I had forgotten my religion. Well, I'm back.

Note: I don't know why people would be interested in this sort of thing, but the folks at java.net seem to think someone will. If you feel like you just wasted the last three minutes of your life, then I apologize. If, however, this blog starts even a single person on a pilgrimage similar to mine, it will be well worth it.

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