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IT & InnovationPart 3 - Making time to work on Open Source

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Freek Van der Herten
Posted byFreek Van der Herten

Freek is a Developer & Co Owner at Spatie.

Visit the Spatie website

People often ask me, 'isn't it very time-consuming to create packages'? The truth is that it indeed takes a lot of time. Creating the code for the package itself, writing tests, writing documentation and getting the word out, all takes a fair amount of time, and that’s just the start! 

When a first stable release gets tagged the work is not over. Maintaining a package, responding to issues, reviewing PR’s takes a lot of time (and dedication) too. At the time of this writing we’ve responded to almost 1000 issues and reviewed more than 750 PR’s.

We do long-term planning at Spatie, but we also have a weekly short-term planning meeting. When scheduling out to the coming week we only plan four days. So we have one work day we can be a bit flexible with. Do not imagine that day as like a fixed day, that time is mostly spread out in that week. Sometimes we do client work in that time, because an estimation was wrong, or we need to do some support things. But that time is also used to review/solve issues and review/merge pull requests.

I do enjoy working on packages in my free time as well. So a few times a week I spend some time in the evening to continue improving the released ones and creating new stuff.

Technology changes rapidly, so that’s why we have to keep on top of everything!

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