Loving what you do

March 29, 2015

The years 2010 and 2011 were a major turning point in my life. I went from a career that I had grown to hate (Mechanical Engineering) to one that inspires me (Software Engineering). I’ve been very fortunate to be able to make this switch, and I still find myself inspired with the day job as an embedded Linux coder.

Though, in 2010-2011 my open-source presence seemed to take a nose-dive. At the start of 2010 I had grand plans for Composite and was making good progress on it. But for most of 2010 and 2011 I had taken on a 2nd job and couldn’t work on Composite at all. And in the summer of 2011 I got a day job with TI. When I wanted to to some extra hacking, it was more apropos to do work-related hacking than my own. I was just as interested with the problems at work as I was with hobby software.

And this is still true today.

However, it makes me sad that I more or less vanished from the open source community — because that was a place I really enjoyed being in. But with way device manufacturers approach IP these days, it more or less discourages community involvement because it’s an IP liability. So, I played it safe for a few years.

Will this change for me in 2015? I hope so. Today I moved Composite from gabe.is-a-geek.org to riggable.com (something I planned to do 4 years ago). I also want to make some progress on Composite — though I may need to re-think the strategy and motivations. The original motivation was mainly obvious, but there was also a subversive motivation of having a publicly available work that demonstrates my software skills (remember, I was trying to change careers at the time).

Also, Composite didn’t go as planned because it didn’t attract developers… neither front-end UI developers nor back-end audio developers. And I absolutely totally hate UI development. If you look at the commit log, things got really slow and unclear whenever I turned to the UI work. Looking to the future, I’ll need to scale back the “innovative UI” ideas in order for it to be something that _I_ can produce. (I’m all in to the “innovative back-end” stuff. :-))

Meanwhile, even Garage Band offers a lot of the features that Composite set out to do. So, there’s not much innovative in the idea any more. It’s now just a “me, too” project. An OSS alternative. So, it’s an open question as to whether Composite should even continue.

Anyway, I want to hammer some of this out in the coming year.

Usually after I hit “Publish” on a post like this, things get really heated up at work. So, I can’t really say what tomorrow will look like. Will Composite continue? Can’t say. Will I blog more? Dunno. Will I actually read my “Linux Audio Developers” mailing list mail? Who knows. But I’m taking a moment to reflect and also think about the future.

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