The Chains of Get-It-Done

It’s 2AM. My wife and infant son are in bed. He’s teething so most of the interaction I have with her involves yelling over him and tense enjoyment of brief respites gifted by small cold things.

I’m awake for two reasons.

The first is that I enjoy the time I get alone. I tend to take advantage of this time by programming, watching film, or playing video games. Tonight I was especially excited because I got the PICO-8 fanzine and a bunch of new information regarding Linux Tracing was just published.

The second reason is that I have yet to release a module to CPAN yet. I have somehow stayed on the Once a Week, Every Week leaderboard for more than three years. I certainly have a sense of pride from that and I do think that momentum of releases is worth something.

So here I am, looking at my list of outstanding issues. I actually got started on a couple that would qualify but ran into technical issues for both.

I’m conflicted. I’ve actually done a lot this week. On the public/OSS front I have:

And none of that includes any of the rewarding stuff I’ve done at work that’s not open to the public!

It’s frustrating because I like the weekly release contest; it motivates me to continue improving and releasing software. But it optimizes for the little things. The GPGME thing above will likely take months to complete, but will count no more than a release that fixes spelling in documentation.

Similarly, I’d like to do some work with Rust, Go, Julia, and Lua. I’m making progress with Lua because I have at least one specific goal, but none of that will be counted by the contest.

I have to wonder: would making some kind of dashboard that takes all of my public goals into account make me feel OK ditching the weekly contest? I don’t know. Chances are I will release a module tomorrow, somehow, to stay in the contest. But I’m starting to think that it’s becoming the worst kind of religion, where it’s all about making myself feel good by performing an empty ceremony.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not burnt out or anything like that; I’m just getting increasingly dubious of the contest. Am I the only one? Is this the reason that the week count for the contest is so ridiculously “long tailed?” I hope I read other opinions about this too.

Posted Sat, Aug 22, 2015