Giving Something Back

I’ve been a long time user of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS).  By many measures my IT career has been a brief blink of the eye (12 years this summer), but all along the way I’ve been a dedicated user of FOSS software.  I can’t count the number of times I’ve felt a rush of exhilaration when I’ve installed, setup and starting hacking away at real “industrial strength” server software right in front of my face.

It is a rare opportunity for someone to be able to cut their teeth on tools of the same level of sophistication as the “big boys” use.  No trials. No watering down. No bullshit.

In my IT career, thus far, nothing has compared to being able to say “I know this”.  Not because I’ve seen it in a book or watched a video but because I’ve been hands on, I’ve bent the software to my needs and have examined its inner-workings.

Lately, I’ve felt guilty.

The FOSS community is huge.  Think of the scale - office applications, web servers, text editors, programming languages, entire operating systems.  All of this made of millions of individual contributions.  Of all of the software I’ve consumed, I’ve never truly given back.

Today I wanted to announce and share my first tiny contribution to the FOSS world.  Over the past few months I’ve been working on a command-line interface to speedtest.net.  It isn’t much and it’s far from perfect, but it scratches an itch I had and it is my first step at sharing with the community at large.

If you find this software helpful or useful please join in the fun and contribute to the project as you see fit - send me feedback, contribute code, fork the code and start your own project.  Even if you don’t find this software particularly useful I’d like to challenge you to share, in your own way, to the FOSS community.

Speedtest.net command line interface - https://github.com/zpeters/speedtest