The Apprehensions and Satisfaction of Contributing

On the psychological experience of contributing one’s effort in another’s initiative.

Recently I contributed a few changes to two technical initiatives / GitHub repositories. Huh what?

GitHub is a place where people can collaboratively build code and content. Kind-of like Wikipedia but these are creative initiatives (as compared to information). It is a service used by software developers to maintain and build their code together. The together can be with just about anyone anywhere on the globe (human beings, dolphins not supported yet).

I have been using GitHub for a few months now to maintain my code of OurLib and Geet Gatiroop – but recently I made a few contributions to other peoples’ repositories. The process was psychologically rather interesting (rewarding).

The Apprehension
Am I doing it correct? Am I doing it in keeping with the creator’s overall style of work? It was quite fascinating watching these concerns in me as I went about offering a tiny addition to the technical documentation of a software I have come to admire. It also felt like I am butting-in into someone else’s work!

So one just tries to do one’s best. Observe what is already there and try to offer the change in keeping with the overall approach taken. Then the creator of that initiative can always accept/reject that contribution. Absolutely no hard feelings whatever. How beautiful.

The Satisfaction
It is subtle but immensely satisfying – to have the means to directly help improve a human initiative and make it that tad bit more beautiful – and to go ahead and do it. Then if the offering is accepted, it is a wee bit more satisfying – but the bulk of the satisfaction comes from the doing and offering itself.

One does not have to be perfect. If there are errors (or room for improvement), no issues – someone else can always come along and improve upon your tiny bit.

This is what we are all here for. To hold hands and be one. The साथी हाथ बढ़ाना (saathee haath badhaanaa) ethos.


Image credit: Lutheran Church of the Resurrection website.