As open-source goes, there are 2 broad categories of developers. Those who consume the work of others and those whose work is consumed.
Let us consider the venerable Rail project. Over the course of it's life it has seen over 47 million
gem install rails. Contrast that with the 2,668 contributors.
Express.js tells a similar story. Between March and April of this year over 2.3 million people have typed
npm install express --save. Contrast that with the 177 contributors who maintain that software.
We owe a debt
I mostly hang my hat with the first group. That is to say, I am among the millions of anonymous developers who benefit from the generous work of the prolific few. There is no doubt, we're indebted to the creators and contributors who have laid the technical foundation on which we stand. That's why I've resolved to begin giving back to the community that has given me so much.
While this blog is just a small payment, I hope that you receive some value from the lessons contained herein.