Martin Schneider

Going Public


Some weeks ago I decided to make a big step forward and show more of my work to the world. I have a lot of thoughts about that. I actually might be overthinking this.

I decided to make the repository that contains the source code to this site publicly available. While this was technically a simple click in the settings of GitHub and there are countless other people out there doing this all the time, it was a big step for me. Although I've often shared some of my code in blog posts and many colleagues have seen and commented on my code in the last twenty years, making a whole set of my work available to everyone on the internet makes me feel vulnerable. But it also makes me feel good.

Feeling Vulnerable

I don't like showing my work to other people. While the things I develop are working most of the time, I'm not too confident about them and I don't want to discuss all those little or big details that someone else would have made different. Every time I am creating a merge request at work, I have the urge to justify every line of code I have written. Well, that's the part of my job that pays the rent. But it gets better.

I don't think I have to be shy. Especially my own sites are build solid and well thought out in most parts. They have rough edges, some parts are copied together from three different threads on Stackoverflow or other people's blog posts. Nevertheless, I feel vulnerable when I think about other people reading my code. Do they laugh and shake their heads? Will someone send me an angry tweet, calling me out for being the imposter that I sometimes think I am? Will someone go through all my commits to find an embarrassing piece of code?

In the very first post on this website, I wrote a small headline: "I Think It Is Time to Overcome That Impostor Syndrome". That was referring to the more technical blog posts that I was planning to write. I wrote not as many as planned. But I did write some. And I got some really nice feedback. So I think it's time to take the next step. The way I'm working does not differ from other people's workflow. Sometimes I build things that someone else might find useful.

Releasing the source code to this site is nothing that can change the world. But it might make someone's day a bit better when some lines of code from this repository are the solution to a problem someone has. Maybe someone will leave a star on my repository? Will someone send me a happy tweet because I helped to find a solution to a stupid problem? Releasing code and giving back means that most parts are already documented quite well. I'm doing that mostly for myself. Who knows how long I won't see a certain part of the site? In the future, I'll focus on improving the readability of the code. Again, mostly for a future me. But also for everyone else. Do I overthink the whole thing?

The Changelog

Part of this is a new category of articles that I call "The Changelog". I've already written two articles in it in the past weeks. They start with the following introduction:

In the changelog, Iā€™m documenting modifications to this site that might be of interest, but are not necessarily my own ideas or work.

I'm working constantly on my websites. Often, I'm sitting on my couch in the evenings, trying something out that I saw on someone else's site that day. Isn't it great how easy it is to simply credit someone when you can write a short article "Hey, I saw this thing. It's awesome. Here's what I took from it and what I modified for my needs."

Feeling Good

I'm feeling quite good, being more open about the things I do. I feel a bit more a part of this group of awesome people that create nice things and share them with the world. Let's see where this goes.

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