A Life Worth Living

So here enters your protagonist. I've left a good job simply for the satisfaction in doing what I think is important.

Let's be honest. I'm terrified. This is the most exciting thing I've ever done. I guess that is what is so attractive to me, adrenaline junkie and all. Will I make it a year? Will I finish what I'm setting out to? Will I let everyone down? Will people hate me because they don't agree with what I think is important? All of these questions, playing like tapes in the back of my consciousness.

The GNOME community has always felt like home to me. Some people leave their jobs and do the start-up thing. That's fun and all, but I'd rather just write software for my friends. Nothing brings me more satisfaction than contributing to this group of people. And like Luis said so many years ago, GNOME is about people.

Learning from Failure

The GNOME University effort was simply overwhelming. We had over 150 people request to participate! That number is still staggering to me. I couldn't keep up with my goals while working a full-time job. And worse, I feel like I let people down.

The reality is that our tooling is not where I think it should be. So there were a couple of options. One being to work really hard to teach people ways of solving problems that should be made obsolete. Whereas the other is making the tools to remove friction from the process.

So I built some really good software at MongoDB while I figured out how I wanted to solve this. It became increasingly clear that I needed all of my time to focus. So here I am, scared as hell, but with relentless ambition.


My absolute first goal for this year is to find a new way of living and funding Free Software.

However, my second goal is to help us define how we want to build software for our platform. I know that once people see their first GtkWindow displayed on the monitor, they will be as hooked as I was. And things look a whole lot better now than Gtk+ 1.x with Blueheart theme!


Builder is my attempt to focus on a comprehensive developer workflow. From the beginning of "I want to make an app" to shipping tarballs and binaries to users. This might even include interactive tutorials right inside of Builder. It makes it possible to guide new developers through the workflow.


I'll be blogging a lot more this year, as I think communication is vital to a healthy community. Additionally, it's time to get some sort of crowdfunding effort underway. I simply wont make it without some help. I'm going to try to pick up a few small contracting gigs as well to fund this. So if you work at a company that needs some quick help solving problems, let me know. Especially in the Gtk+ or MongoDB space.

Much Love,

-- Christian Hergert 2014-09-06

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