How Doers Do

February 24, 2013

Yesterday, while I was poking around on Twitter, I came across an article by Josh Long describing how to kill your heroes. Basically, go out there and do something worthwhile and stop regaling your heroes for their ability to shut up and ship.

In a perfect example, Tom Preston-Werner of Github fame reminded us what it’s like to ship. After letting his project jekyll get a little heavy with pull requests and issues, it appears as though he was dedicating his Saturday to getting things back in order.

In the past few weeks, Rails has been plagued with a few YAML security issues. It’s generally accepted that YAML is an annoying tool to use but it’s the defacto way to share configuration in Ruby right now. But Tom doesn’t care.

And, just like that, instead of complaining in a tweet, instead of writing a blog post about how it should work, or instead of whining on a pull request somewhere, he decided to forward the conversation by doing something.

In roughly two hours from his initial “YAML rage” tweet, he had his specification for his suggestion on a better option to YAML.

Wether or not you agree with Tom that YAML is bad and wether or not you like TOML, it’s one thing to write “we ship all day” or “just up and ship” in a blog post or in your Twitter bio. But it’s a totally different class of hacker who writes they hate this tool they’re using and then immediately releases their suggestion.

I still have a long way to go before this flow is so ingrained in me that it’s second nature. I’ve made some recent strides recently with Strapper. However, watching this unfold over Twitter last night was too good to not learn from.