I quit the core team, here is why

Yesterday, at last, after been thinking about it for several months, I have made a decision that I will no longer be actively contributing to Elgg core. There are many reasons, but here are some of them, which will hopefully give some food for thought, "valuable feedback", if you will:

1. There is no core team. Two people is hardly a team, more like a couple of headless nerds. I don't want to remain in the team just by name. Either in or out, either you do the work, contribute ideas and time, or you don't. The ideas I have require too much work, and there is virtually noone willing to help, so it's my will to "make the world a better place" against my desire "to live in a world that is a good place".

2. Elgg is a bottomless well. No matter how much work and time you put in it, it's never enough. There is so much legacy code that it's like a pyramid built of matches, you pull one thing and the whole thing comes down crashing on you. Over a decade of patching and patching and patching. People just need to get serious about refactoring and rewriting.

3. It's a thankless job. The only benefit at this point for me is the green square in my Github contribution chart. I spend anywhere from 20 to 50 hours most weeks on core, not to mention not being able to sleep because the sheer complexity of the next feature I am thinking about or waking up with thoughts about the bug I might have overlooked in the last pull request. 

4. I am not progressing. I feel like I am stuck in the loop of doing and re-doing the same tasks, writing and re-writing the same bits of code over and over again. I don't have time to try new technologies, because all I am doing is trying to improve Elgg and there is no end to it.

5. No satisfaction. I no longer get a sense of accomplishment when writing plugins, because I feel it's just a drop in an ocean of what needs to be done. Unfortunately, the quality of code of in the plugin repo, is mediocre and I hardly ever find plugins that I could drop in production with a peace of mind. I live with the constant sense of unfinished business, and I can't stand it anymore. I want to end my week feeling like I've done what I had to and spend a weekend with a book.

6. No creativity. I don't see any original ideas, nothing to inspire or motivate. 

7. Too high of a price. Most of the time that I spend on core comes at the expense of work time, or time with friends and family. Given lack of satisfaction from this work and financial renumeration, it just no longer makes sense, at least not in the amounts that are required to get anywhere.

I am not yet sure if I will continue developing for Elgg, but if I do, this will most likely no longer be free. The amount of work that goes into maintaining the plugins in the course of several years (even if the initial development was sponsored) is not worth "valuable feedback" from somebody building a bible group or a community dedicated to a subject that goes completely against my core values. I am tired of this parasitic attitude of taking, taking, taking and never giving back anything in return.

 

Feedback and Planning

Feedback and Planning

Discussions about the past, present, and future of Elgg and this community site.