We’re in a golden age of reusable open source code. With GitHub and Maven Central it’s never been easier to create and share code.
This is excellent! Android developers have access to a steady stream of new projects. I keep up by following some Android developers on Twitter and by subscribing to Android Weekly and #AndroidDev Digest.
Releasing a new open source project is fun. Take your most reusable code, polish it off, and publish it to the world! Give back to the development community and earn your reputation.
Free as in puppy
There’s a catch. When you release an open source library you implicitly volunteer to be the ongoing maintainer of that library. It’s an unpaid job that imposes real time commitments.
The work as maintainer is to earn trust. This comes by implementing features, fixing bugs, answering Stack Overflow questions, and by responding to (often inane) GitHub issues. If you succeed your userbase will grow and hopefully it’s mostly fun.
Your other option is to not do the work. This feels bad in the same way that ignoring street poverty feels bad. Users of my code ask me for things “Please help with