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Open Source Time at Hashrocket

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It's Friday afternoon, my brain cells are fried, my stomach is full and it's time for Hashrocket's most cherished employment perk. That time when we can open whatever editor, on whatever operating system, on whatever computer, with whatever keyboard and work on whatever we want. Open source time.

We call it open source time, but don't get it twisted, it's not time to work on open source software, but instead it's the time itself which is open sourced. You can source it any way you want, openly. And no, I'm not really sure what that means. All I know is that my mind is free to stretch. I can crack open the code to Phoenix, I can write a weird blog post and I can scratch that programmer itch that's been itching ever since I found out about useMemo on Monday. That combined with an itch to make colorful squares move across a web browser at different speeds. That combined with a wholly necessary need to find out why my vim plugins won't let me navigate around an Elixir project as fast as I want and a realization that I don't have the latest node version.

So I crack open github and think about all the better ways that I could find out what the latest version of node is, like, shouldn't there be an alert system for that? And I read the node changelog, and I look up for the millionth time how to install a plugin using asdf. Woah, can I hook up asdf plugin updating to xargs with the -P flag so I can update all my dev tools using every core of my processor?

Maybe I got something done, maybe I didn't, but I itched and stretched and had fun exploring the technical world. I got to exercise a different part of my programmer brain instead of trying to jam out one... last... feature for the client during what is typically the least productive and most bug heavy time of the week. Doing this makes me a better programmer. This makes me a better programmer for the following Monday and doing this consistently every Friday makes me a better programmer for the following year.

Over time, you find that not only is your programmer self rejuvenated but you actually amass a fair number of interesting experiments. Not all of them are ready to show off, to either the full internet or a limited number of people, but some are. You can check out a small sample of our open source time projects at our concepts website. As developers, we're multifaceted and it's great to be reminded that not only can we developer with efficiency and quality for our clients but we can also be creative, whimsical and curious.

Whether it's creative fulfillment, tool sharpening, free discussion about hard problems, or whatever else that might happen when you have a computer in front of you and smart people around you, open source time is one of the things that makes me tick as a programmer and a gratifying employment perk that allows me to start the following Monday fresh and ready to once again provide the greatest possible value for my client.

Image via unsplash-logoZachary Peterson

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