Open Source and GitHub Stars

2 min read

When open sourcing a piece of software, you are taking risks. It’s true for everyone open sourcing a project, even more so for PoC and women 1, though this isn’t going to touch on that.

You could get trolled hard by bros who think what you’re working on is silly or, worse yet, stupid. They could ignore the code of ethics set down by GitHub, Gitlab, whomever. You really don’t know what to expect.

The open source community can be welcoming and crazy intimidating and cruel at the same time.

I am writing an app, Check Yo Self, that I have decided to open source using other open source modules, and MDL templates, etc. I am still a junior, though a much better programmer than a year ago. If my project gets popular 2, I’m a prime target of the dark side of the GitHub open source community. Taking that chance is something that the rewards outweigh the risks 3.

So I Made a Shout Out and Got Stars

The Practical Dev has a Twitter chat every Tuesday at 9 PM EST called #DevDiscuss. During last Tuesday’s chat Ben asked us to share what we were hacking on. I shared my project, Check Yo Self. I wasn’t expecting much. It got a lot of retweets and favorites. And then I looked at the project:

It started out with 5 stars, then 8, then 9 and 1 fork and one extra watcher.

This may not seem like a big deal. But to me, who has had a few projects with no attention whatsoever, this makes me feel really good. It is something I can feature on my GitHub pinned repos 4, add to my portfolio and resume.


I have now, with these stars, incentive to keep going and updating the app. Last night, my allergies were super bad 5 and I just wanted to read or play Super Mario Bros. Run. I sat down at the desk, pissed off that I needed to work on one module at a time on this app, starting with the HTML template. But I did it. For an hour. I wanted to get the database set up, some of the logic, but I forced myself to work on one thing at a time. It was a big step for me to force myself to code when I am really tired and not feeling well. Those stars mean a lot to me and I feel a responsibility to make the best piece of software I can.

  1. I tend to not tread much in this category, though it effects me. I am a keen observer of behaviors and adjust my expectations according to the situation at hand. 
  2. It won’t. Pretty sure of that. 
  3. At least for me, as someone trying to build a portfolio and trying to get a job. 
  4. I pinned the tweet to my profile. 
  5. With my sleep apnea and allergies, it makes me really tired, more so than if I just didn’t have a good night’s sleep. 

CC BY-SA 4.0 Open Source and GitHub Stars by Tiffany White is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.