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COVID19 Boredom Syndrome for Developers

Submitted by Sean Robertson on Wed, 03/25/2020 - 00:13

Not all of us, even in tech, have the luxury of working from home depending on our jobs/clients, or maybe work has dried up or stalled for a while due to quarantines and the like. There are still plenty of things you can do to keep yourself sharp and help out others even while stuck at home. Here are some thoughts I've had that apply especially now, but are useful even in the absence of such a crisis.

Open Source Contributions

  • Contribute code - There are tons of open source projects that perennially need help but get at least partially neglected during normal times simply because people are too busy with their day jobs. Here are a few of the ones I contribute to, among others.
    • Docker Community - Many of us use Docker on a daily basis, sometimes barely even realizing it given its integration into myriad other tools (like Lando - see below). There are many different open source projects in the Docker community that you can get involved in depending on your specific skill set. Even if you can't contribute code, you can certainly help triage issues. There are links to their various GitHub repositories here: https://www.docker.com/community/open-source
    • Drupal - One of the rallying cries of the Drupal community is that it is a do-ocracy - if you see something that needs to be done, simply pitch in and help do it.
      • Core - A great way to get started with contributing to Drupal core is to check the Novice issues list. These issues have been specifically tagged for people looking to get their feet wet before diving in all the way. Some of the core issues can get very complex, so this list is a perfect place to start.
      • Contrib - Do you have a favorite module you use a lot and find something about it bugs you? Now is the perfect time to try and help fix those things. Module maintainers are often stretched thin and can't take everything on by themselves. That's where you come in. If you can contribute some patches, you'll be a hero. If you have a module that use use that isn't maintained as thoroughly as you'd like, you might even consider offering to be a co-maintainer (assuming you've shown some history of good contributions to the project).
    • Lando - Many of us use Lando on a daily basis for local development. I've been using it for year now and even managed to get a couple of companies to completely switch to it in their daily workflows. Most of it is written in JavaScript using Promise (IIRC). Here's the documentation for getting involved with Lando.
  • Provide volunteer support - The same groups above and others have great Slack networks that can always use volunteers, especially people who can fill in across different timezones.
    • Drupal - The Drupal community has a Slack network at https://drupal.slack.com. There are tons of channels dedicated to various specific subjects as well as a general #support channel. Note that the #contributors channel is for core contributors - please try to avoid abusing that space with generic questions (I've been a little guilty of that but only with questions getting deep into core-related programming issues). I'm in there as seanr pretty much all the time I'm online.
    • Lando - The fine folks at Lando also maintain a Slack network. You can find me in there all the time as seanr - I just provided some support to someone a minute ago as I was typing this. They are at https://devwithlando.slack.com.
    • Pantheon - Not open source itself, but a great friend of open source communities, Pantheon has a great community slack and also contributes open source devops tools like Terminus and its various plugins. I'm in their Slack channels pretty much all the time, also as seanr. Great company, great people.
    • Twig - This is more specific to Drupal's implementation of Twig but is a great resource even for some general questions. It can be found at https://drupaltwig.slack.com and I am also in there as seanr.

Upskill Yourself

Use this time to learn something you wish you'd known sooner or even just to brush up on stuff you only use occasionally and don't remember all that well.

  • Training resources
    • DrupalizeMe - this one should be obvious to Drupal folks but it bears repeating - the folks at Lullabot who run this site are amazing.

More to Come

Check back here for updates. As I think of things, I'll keep updating this post. Please share widely so that we might all help each other and ourselves.

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