Duration 1:01:08
16+
Play
Video

RailsConf 2019 - Opening Keynote by David Heinemeier Hansson

David Heinemeier Hansson
Founder & CTO at Basecamp
  • Video
  • Table of contents
  • Video
RailsConf 2019
April 30, 2019, Minneapolis, USA
RailsConf 2019
Video
RailsConf 2019 - Opening Keynote by David Heinemeier Hansson
Available
In cart
Free
Free
Free
Free
Free
Free
Add to favorites
38.53 K
I like 0
I dislike 0
Available
In cart
Free
Free
Free
Free
Free
Free
  • Description
  • Transcript
  • Discussion

So it's really exciting to come here. So I've now been railsconf or I think 13 years 12 years something like that and see how many new people are here that this isn't just a community that's growing old together. Although some of us are growing old. There's a lot of fresh faces and there's a lot of people coming into the industry right now and I think the industry really needs that I think this is a unique time for us to do things differently in a lot of ways and think differently doing differently and thinking differently

needs to come from people who are showing up here for the first time or just showed up in the industry. When I first showed up in the industry, I went to a conference in 2001. That was my first conference ever. I met the creator of Ruby math and I read a bunch of other people and it was so excited, but I still had no idea really about where I was why I was there what was going on? So I just started programming in about 2 years after that rails was born. And I think Ralph was born the Wade was born because I

was one of those people who showed up and knew nothing. I've had a very little understanding of the history of computer science computer science in general and I thought okay. I'm just going to try I'm going to try to do the things that I think are right and that led to something that was different. The rails wasn't like the other things and I think that the difference comes from that ignorance of Youth is actually here is our weathers and experience or whether it's a new community that you haven't been somewhere before and you show up and you

and you don't know what you're not supposed to do or not supposed to start and not supposed to question. I think that's incredibly powerful. Flip side of that. I don't talk about that later to say when you don't know anything that's not always the best either or to say that there's a trade-off to that that that's ignorant. Sometimes means you hit your head on the same things that people went before you hit their head on or you walk into the same price that other people walked into so there's this weird place. We're on the one hand is wonderful to

know nothing and then the other hand it is kind of answering. So I'm going to try to shred that needle in this talk this morning. Actually. Let me confess something it won't be much of a confession in the moment. But is this is not a talk. This is reading I wrote my entire talk out and I still have done that in the past and sketches and then I was going off on stage and then I tried to just freestyle what came to mind at the moment when I saw the slide on the board in front of me. But I'm going to try something different this year and that is to actually read my talk. So

this is not a talk. This is a reading. But it don't worry. There will be pictures to got me to read several books. Every one of them is llama llama red pajama. I don't read that as often anymore that kind of got tired of that but I refused every night and I really enjoyed it. Not only because you get to read that's fine. But also because you get to read something that was considered and I sometimes have to send said when in the path I've walked up on stage ideas about

Connections. I wanted to make but consider this perhaps a big word of time. So I wanted to read something that I have considered over a. Of more than just whatever the three seconds of mice of naps of aspiring before I said something was Everything I wanted to do was I wanted to to do a bit of a reenactment. This is Josh Paquette who in 2003 did a dramatic reading of a blog post? I wrote called royal icing a spoof and I encourage you all to look it up after this talk. Just go on YouTube rail system Mikasa,

and this will be the first thing that popped up Johnson's great dramatic reader and I was thinking of his voice imitating and mocking me in his YouTube video. I think I want to try to do that with myself for myself. The other thing I wanted to say, this is Aaron Patterson. Most people party don't know when who Aaron is but they do know who Tender Love is this is tender love giving a talk at cochinas in 2015 was committed other people who trolled people and antenna love showed up. It was the

first recommendation from the algorithm and talk with to say This is not a soft talk. This is a technical talk. This will not be a talk about how to find yourself. And I thought wow this is really pathetic because my talk is the opposite of all that this talk is not a technical talk. It is a soft talk. Although I think we've kind of moved on from that way of addressing things because I don't think actually any of these topics that I try to examine here or softer easy. And anyways,

in fact, it's taking me far longer to learn and appreciate these Concepts and it has to turn to appreciate the dhmc SAS programming about how to find yourself or at least it is about how I found myself in open source and in this community that's wonderful thing about conferences it then you don't just hear the same shit 50 times people show up with different ideas and different approaches and and that's how it should be. Final warning even though this is a reading and I did

consider these words this is not a final manuscript I have not labored over this for years labored over this for weeks or months I want to talk about you in advance and I John them all down in my notes app on my phone and then like a child and Christmas I giggle when I open it two weeks before the conference I think I wonder what I thought about this Sharon and when I want to think about There really aren't any new ideas in this talk. There is a set of

connections between existing ideas that I will try to percent which really is is a good description of my life's work. I don't have a lot of new ideas. I make connections between existing ideas. And then I first sent those connections to others and that code is not finished its needs patches, and I'm sure it has bugs. So I got mine and doesn't cover all the cases either. So I'm really putting this up party as a warning and park as a disclaimer just so I can say this isn't a universal truths. I'm presenting

and it will not apply to everyone and it will not apply in all situations. The main thing it applies to is me and you're free to extrapolate as you see fit. Okay. Let's begin. In debt the first 5000 years Anthropologist David graeber explores the fascinating history of death money and economies. It starts out by the bunking the common myth. That's fine point hitch. Everyone were trapped in this inefficient mode apart. You had me to give you wanted sugar from Gandalf

you first have to trade your chicken to Frodo who would give you the barley that candle. All you wanted was a cup of sugar and now you're out of chicken and left with a whole bunch of barley. What a terrible state of society. This is how most Economist from Adam Smith Ford have describe what they imagined the Primitive inefficient barter economies prior to the Advent of hornets look like it's a great sales pitch for modern Commerce, but unfortunately in spray for the Tails, it's also mostly made up of shit

communities didn't see to settle their trades least not within those communities. They relied on much more egalitarian wrong running concept of reciprocity. Forms much closer to the Communist slogans from each according to his ability to each according to his needs than quid pro quo time. We all take for granted and is market-based society. The problem as seen with modernize with early free money to guilt Aryan Society was in part that they didn't scale.

They relied on community bonds to enforce a collective sense of what was good for the group as a whole back by infective corrective measures of family obligations and honoring ostracized was always there in the background. Such a social structure is much easier to maintain at the level of a tribe say in the city or nation state. Largely because of the freeloader problem the fear that if we don't feel like we have direct family bonds that tie our shared face together in pursuit of a common good

Society is going to fill up with Moochers and teaches those who exploit others to do all the hard work while they enjoy the fruits of that labor. That fear remains Central to Modern societies witness the Evergreen political appeal of pointing out the excesses of welfare kings and queens or the danger posed by immigration. This is a fear rooted in free load of beer. Which in turn is based on the notion of scarce resources in need of protection. There just isn't enough to go around the party is already

full. What time does have some reasonable historic old scars that have kept it from Forgetting the malthusian Spectre this idea that there really is a hard limit for how many people a given Society can support before it runs out of resources and everyone suffers. These scars were formed by Millenia of virtually non-existent productivity growth call to famines play another consequences of lives Lyft at the threshold of subsistence. Against this backdrop of History. It's not surprising that the paradigm.

Star City in the fear freeloaders is deeply embedded in the human psyche. Color is most forms of interaction and collaboration even when doing so is more of an outdated sting than anything. When I was getting into the industry in the mid-to-late 90s, it seems like we were witnessing the peak of an epic battle between proprietary and free software. This war was in body that the proprietary end of the Spectrum by Bill Gates and Microsoft the ultimate proprietary extractors dominators and conquerors. NFL free software end of the Spectrum by Richard stallman

and the free software Foundation The Ultimate Software Freedom Fighters and there's no doubt that these two men were diametrically opposed on many of the key questions about software development and how it should be made and how should be distributed but that stark contrast also had a tendency to overshadow the way in which the two were strikingly similar. Both gates and Stahlman built their life's work on the back of copyright law. One with the right to extract got some money from his proprietary software Monopoly to

extract contributions and distribution concessions from uses of his open source software. These rights are both founded in a Libertarian ideal of ultimate personal freedom back by strong property rights enforced by state apparatus through contracts and courts. The fact that these archenemies should share some common ideological base really shouldn't be that much of a surprise. They were both American men born in the 1950s who attended ivy league universities came of age during the oil crisis and we're around for the birth of the

personal computer. That's a lot of shared societal forces in context exerted on both with ties to the concept of scarcity. You might find this comparison to stretch your breasts even defensive and I'm sympathetic to that. I don't mean to equate the two men's contributions to software or those of the organisations that are true or vice the purpose of this discussion. Don't even think that's a terribly interesting topic. What I do think it's interesting. It's how both gates installment anchor their worldview in the scar City Paradigm that embrace the similar fear of

freeloaders and relied and software licenses that is on tracks to counter. It was afraid that uses would take two software and not paying for it stallman was afraid that uses would extend his software and not hand over the contributions both men believed that the distribution of software with a trade exchange one that has to be bound by explicit applications, which have to be settled Ralph. Neither dates Norm Stahlman were unique in their seal to control the terms under which their cell phone when she was in distributed software World

fall into this category of users consider some level of debt obligations for using software completely natural. In fact when I'm wearing my Capital Escape as the co-owner of the software company based campsite to fall into this category, but when I'm wearing my rails conductor's cap, it's a different story. Then the whole premise of strong property rights and debt obligation start to look awfully screwy. Look at the way we talk about the freeloader problem in general is open to us world. We commonly reach for the tragedy of the commons to explain why

licenses contracts and a sense of explicit obligations for necessary. The tragedy of the commons tells us that individual users will act independently to seek their own maximum self-interest. So if there's nothing to rain in their native Drive, we're bound to end up with a Barren pasture as people just take take take and nobody feels obliged to give I believe this is a complete conceptual misappropriation for open source software development one that has done great harm to our understanding of what we do as

open source software writers. The magic of software is that there is virtually no marginal cost. Economic reality the gates used to build Microsoft Empire and what an able Stahlman to give away his free software. I'll be at with strings attached. The freeloaders are free. There is no practical sparsity to worry about. If you accept that there is no scarcity and there is no tragedy of the commons that is open source software cannot be overgrazed by having more people use it. The freeloaders are

free. Then you're forced to look skeptically at other assumptions. We've started to make lightly in the broader open to his community. Like the idea that open source software just isn't sustainable. The less we find a new way to force users to give back. I donate or pay we're going to burn out to people who donate their re labor, but won't go so forever. In essence, we're at the cusp of a malthusian Randy's crisis. Too many takers too few and too poorly compensated makers. Never mind, the fact

that actual observe famines are so rare that everyone keeps using the same example when it comes to this debate openssl, and that was so probably alleviated soon as the effects were parent. And that is unlike Thomas Malthus who at least had a few Millennia of actual devastating famine 2.2. The problem with the Free Labor perspective with an open-source is that his narrowly-defined creation and collaboration on the same Marketplace terms of proprietary software

that is this an exchange of goods and services. Stop by choosing to use a certain open source package. You're actually accruing real debt to the makers of this software whether you like it or not, and you're obligated to settle those debts at regular intervals that be one-off monetary donations for continuously paid subscriptions. It's kind of been the bane of an oracle licensing agreement that your contribution your giveback is supposed to scale with your usage and your

benefit like percipi you pricing scheme the bigger the business the bigger the bill. What is the electronics that the same reality of zero marginal costs that Foundation is incredibly profitable commercial software Empires is the same one that allows us to actually Reach This Market face-framing of collaboration all together. I'm not saying there's something categorically wrong with the Bella Bruce developing open source in market-based terms. What I am saying is that it isn't a necessary condition of

sustainability that there a large successful projects and many smaller to like Ruby on Rails on rejecting the market-based approach and showing no signs of an impending maltose into on a country. When I look at the literally billions of dollars in business that's been done on the basis of this thing. I started I don't look at that with Envy or an open mouth. I don't think I should have had some of that. I think What a Wonderful World I put something into this world and continue to put my life into that something which is benefited a tremendous amount of people.

Yes, created a tremendous amount of business from a grateful 20 billion dollar business of Shopify to let's say let's grateful 20 billion dollar business of Twitter. If my Outlook on my work with rails have been infected by disagree of notion of Free Labor. Both of these would look like failures like freeloaders who got away with it without paying their dues just because no money changed hands. Now if I had this Outlook maybe I'd cut Shopify some slack because of the

contributions that they've gracefully giving back to the community and continue to do so, but I would start and end up with contempt and Twitter. Not only did Twitter never contribute any material things back to the framework. They company ran for cover under the consequences of their own poor architectural decisions in a narrative the blame rails for the troubles. What an ungrateful bunch. What an injustice? 4 whatever if I was a Christian, I'd say turn the other cheek and it's an inspiring story. I think of Aurelius is admonishment that it doesn't hurt me unless I

interpret it's happening as harmful to and I can choose not to Neither Shopify North Twitter nor any other person or company holds the power to cause tragedy to our comments in rails, there is no tragedy. There will be no tragedy rails is a celebration of utopian Commons a land were honey and milk spring eternal. Or at least unrelated to how many people are tapping in again. This is not a universal truth. I'm saying this as one possible truth and experienced and injuring true for the work in the community that's been happening around rails.

It's worth noting that this utopian Paradise with the tragedy of the commons where the tragedy of the commons bear. No influence in our work does require a bit of mental self defense or at least ring-fencing. It's relatively easy to deal with the distance ingratitude of a Twitter as I mentioned. I wasn't actually looking for any gratitude from Twitter in the first place winner of vertice showed up to the man that I fix their problems or to apologize for the fact that I had or wouldn't It's a little different when people actually do.

Which they do or at least they say did it's not as common as it once was even if I still see it all the time. But here's how that mental self defense look like in the early days back in 2005. This is the V1 firewall that I erected to protect myself against bendoraitis. This is from the first rails conference in Canada. And this is a slide with a 16th message send if I was to release others from being indebted to me for using rails. I surely had to be released from others expecting me to be indebted to them for using mail. You might think that ladder

release is obvious. But Marketplace Norms are hard to scape. They seep into our own Consciousness there plenty of open sores users who think themselves less as a recipient of a gift and more like customers with warranty claims. The dates on the makers of set open source software a great honor by merely choosing to use their thing. In fact, it's kind of a natural extension of a society that worships consumerism above the left and natural extension of the customer is always

right of the adversarial relationship between buyer and seller. And a lot of Open Source communities actively in Tysons this sort of thinking and behavior are so over-the-top grateful for attention and adoption that they put themselves in this subservient position. Hey, whatever you got to do to make the sale right? No, let there be no sale. I accept that this might seem a little strange coming from me of all people. I used all sorts of commercial marketing tricks in the early days of rail,

the was selling going on. There's no doubt about that, but it wasn't really for commercial purposes. But rather Dairy Sade and ideological one. Branson more accurate term would be proselytizing engaged in the promotion of an ideology at Paradigm and even World knew that might seem like a southern distinction and it's probably is but I'm still somewhat regretful that this approach let others down this commercial trap without that distinction Place into this questionable end. Today match of open-source is

sold on these Marketplace terms. Everything is slick. Video of cool marketing side and of course, you have a sweet logo. It's more than a little hard to see the difference between an open to a software package in a commercial one. I used to think that this was unequivocally a win for open-source. That's a fight for attention with commercial and turn them since we had to adopt a commercial Playbook. No, I think it's at the very least a mixed blessing. But if you show up like a Salesman, it's a little

disingenuous to be surprised when people think they're buying a product. One way to start swinging the pendulum back towards the days before the commercialization of Open Source and I don't mean that in the sense of red hat or whatever but in the sense of open-source thinking it had to outsell the salesman founding documents. This is the MIT license info. It was conceived 30 years ago. 20 lines of light legalese of which just six deliver the radical punch

Do whatever you want do as you please just don't Sue. MIT license is often lumped in with other open source licenses because of its compatibility with the likes of GPL or other copyleft license has that makes it seem like they're really just flavors of the same face, but they're not in many ways. I considered the MIT license on the which rail to distributed to be as different from copyleft license has like a GPL as it is for commercial proprietary software. The MIT license to a large extent is the anti license the utopian of

socialized programs one that Express in braces the lack of marginal cost for software cuz it's an explicit rejection of strong property rights approach taken by both gates installment at their respective ends of the libertarian Spectrum. It's the language of giving without expecting anything in return. It's the language of sincere charity without strings attached neither commercial nor reciprocal with the risk of sounding sanctimonious eyewitness of pure projection of altruism. California to NYC MIT license from this perspective

because I do remember feeling the pool of a primordial death to the sovereign immunity when I started rails and motion to give back now that I had something to give I was born into the software community Through the grace of Open Source, and now I had the opportunity to participate as a contributor and it felt wonderful. But it felt like that exactly because no sword was hanging over my head. Nobody telling me that this is what I offer have to do. No one expecting me to do it. So it was an act of volition

rather than one fut. A truly authentic choice that to me is freedom. the freedom to pursue self-actualization and making something in my image the best that I possibly knew how again not as free labor, but as a mineral labor of love As an amateur in the original sense of the word something that in all honesty has been worth far more than money or reciprocal gestures to me and I say that with the clarity of my privilege but also from having been and either side of the money while working on Rails.

When I started working on Rails in 2003 Jason freed, my then-boss now business partner at base camp was paying me $25 an hour. In itself a princely sum of from the $15 an hour. I was getting paid when we started working together 2001 wasn't ending to Copenhagen business school. I didn't have Rich parents supporting me. I did have the backing of a functional. Well first state that sees the wisdom in educating its young without trapping them in student debt, so I

had the Danish privilege, which is a privilege, but also one shared by another 5 million people in Far More in similar sightings around the world. This was my income and yet I poured a substantial amount of my spare time into making Ralph's hours that I did not build Jason for talk about Free Labor except. It wasn't an investment to Curry favor with an employer then or the future. It simply wasn't a project under written by a market-based worldview. On self-actualization front it was about the three

components of motivation as Daniel pink is summarized in his book try. Autonomy Mastery purpose that I deemed interesting in the order that please mean style that appealed to me Mastery as a result for learning all the intricacies of this beautiful sparkling Gem of the language Ruby having my mind blown by metaprogramming of yourself and finally a two-fold purpose of using Ruby to build something real but even more so to build something that would allow others to pass through the

same rings of the light that I've been sprinting through. That last bit is nibbling at what Abraham Maslow called self-transcendence in the work that preceded his standard pyramid of needs with his five layers of progression. The greatest attainment of identity autonomy or sell food is itself a going Beyond and above selfhood? Which two ways of course, but an echo of what's been said a million times in history. Here's someone saying it Mister Rogers commencement speech in 2002.

Deep down we know the what matters in this life is more than winning for ourselves. What really matters is helping others when to But there's a deep sense of satisfaction that comes from having done work. That's genuinely useful to other people again, not in the sense of Market terms when you sold someone something with the transaction, but the absence of transactions all together. What's unique about massive inside is in how the Pyramid of needs help those with a roadmap to making that happen? It's clarifies why we

have times do not feel like we're either able to win for ourselves or to strive to help others win at the base levels. Are there in reality which is depressing the true here in the u.s. Being deprived of security and safety or not mine. I'll forgive you. If you think this talk of self-transcendence sounds either like some religious hocus-pocus or some new age. Hippie did people ship. I'm pretty sure that would have been my reaction in 2003 at the age of 23 when I started working the rails.

Which is kind of the sneaky Wonder of Ruby and Matt's Mission. How is Echoes that time is conclusion that mass loved. Mr. Rogers many others have reached. Matt speaks in the uncontroversial approachable terms of Happiness who doesn't want happiness. The goal of Ruby is to make programmers happy. I started out to make a programming language. That would make me happy and it's a side effect. It's made many many programmers happy. I hope to see Ruby help every programmer in the world to become productive into a door programming and to

be happy. This is the primary purpose of the Ruby language. It's an interesting how he also between the lines describes the in sentence from self-actualization making me happy to self Transcendence making many many other programmers happy is equally interesting to see how he's projecting same Japanese sentiment that's currently sweeping the world near the phenomenon. That is the con Mari method that the things you should ride South with obligated to spark joy and if they don't you should thank them and

sent them on their way. This is radically different from the Western ethos of the best tool for the job of inanimate objects whose sole purpose is to do a job not to spark Joy really any other emotion inside are perfectly rational modes of production and cognition in as much as we refer to soft French humanistic terms. It's generally only in the form of biological metaphors for components and systems a lense of science very far removed from any sense of

perceiving of software as a dance partner is a humanistic Waltz. On the other hand is decidedly humanistic in his approach that is putting the human at the center with all our flaws and impulses and making them secondary. Make Ruby natural not simple in a way that mirrors life. In this regard Matt's draws on a rich tradition of looking Beyond rationality as the only virtue to strive for or is all humankind needs. This is from Notes from Underground Dostoevsky. You see gentlemen recent is an excellent thing. There's no disputing that

it's nothing but I'm satisfied and it's only the rational side of man's nature while will is the manifestation of the whole life that is what the whole human life include reasoning and all the impulses here. I Princeton's quite naturally want to live in order to satisfy all my capacities for life and not simply my capacity for reason. That is not simply 120th of my capacity for life. natural not simple rational but not just this is what the acceptance of human nature looks like an acceptance that must see expression. Not only now for what

philosophical rumination but in everyday life and work and I think it's the failure to do so that breeds much of the discontent and even aced in the in the minds of many programmers. Stuck as they are in this Enlightenment prison of rationality only free to indulge that one 20th of life. That is our rational side. This may be true of much of Western Society in general. But I think it afflicts software practitioners in particular because of our founding roots in the temples of rationality

mathematics and physics computer science is still seen as primarily the discipline we use when it comes to creating software as our narrator From The Underground 120th of software development. An important part but completely insufficient supposed to way to understand and to practice software development. One of the ways that the focus on computer science and software development Lisa's Estrellas with the notion of objective truth. What are you comparing to algorithms for sorting you can mathematically prove which

is better. If you set the terms of the competition optimizing for Speed or memory or some combination it possible to declare a definitive winner that we can all agree upon because you know science that's good. That's fine. That's fine. Since it's supposed to work. The problem is when we extend that scientific quest for capital T truth to the other 19/20 of software development. Static vs. Dynamic typing is just one example when I got started in the late nineties, this was a Hot Topic fiercely-contested 20 years

later. It's still Hot Topic fiercely-contested just witnessed the excitement about typescript or the England movement around the same for Ruby both part of a continued litigation over at Superior fit for creating fault free software. But this is not a question. We're going to answer with science decades upon Decades of empirical data have been produced study and argued and yes, we're no closer to the Clarion Universal victory for neither static or dynamic typing

the wrong scale the same Budwey's Trooper object-oriented vs. Functional programming and a Litany of other fiercely contested territories in software development. but if signs not going to tell us how best to write software what or who will The greatest philosophers CERN Kierkegaard might have an answer for us in the Paradox of personal truths which explored in fear and trembling amongst other places that the conclusion to wrestling with. The unknowable is to take a personal

leap of faith to find and commit to a set of personal truth to guide our lives and our work. With the understanding that these truths are our choices not based on universal fact that these choices can never be based on universal facts the kind of answers you seek when you reach the boundaries of Science and rational inquiry. This is really just a strand of extensionalism 101. There is no universal meaning to life. You've been thrown into this world without a preordained purpose, which is both

terrible burden to bear and the ultimate freedom to embrace you get to decide. But you cannot consciously accept that and start your personal search until you've given up on the idea that someone is going to reveal it to you. If you just need read another best tool for the job owed on Hacker News. Broadly speaking at this level of abstraction like static vs. Dynamic typing Orono vs. FP. There is no best tool for the job. Only a best tool for that person at that moment in their lives for that job. I sent a personal

truths to be discovered in the side of the pond by each individual. This is a seriously frightening conclusion that you're responsible for your own truth. When it comes to many of the biggest questions at work or for that matter in life accepting. This burden is not for the faint of heart. So many don't they try to escape from Freedom overwhelmed that they want someone else to choose for them. Announce McGann the endless jockeying for signs of what we're supposed to do.

That is what are others doing. What's the hot news saying? How do we measure hardness? Is it the number of Google searches the most recently released? What is it, please why is interwebs? Will you please make the choice for me? And we keep reinforcing this sense of resignation. I don't know what I'm doing. I'm not qualified to make authentic choices bulshit. If you keep modeling yourself of the name of a dog who has come on. Let's face it never going to learn how to program that computer. Don't be surprised if you end up

stuck at the canine level of Competency. You're responsible. Yes, but also you can do this. Yes. Anyway, you can say that rails has benefited from this application of freedom for years itself as it was seen as the new hotness and I in my lack of understanding from what actually motivated me to do the work shared it on. Look it up cool little star table using rounds. Look at that moment. How many choices were made during those days? I don't know but I'm sure a lot of them weren't which is a nice post hoc rationalization for embracing our current state of maturity as

I think it's actually much easier to authentically choose rails today than it was 10 years ago at the peak of the hype in 2009. In Man's Search for meaning Viktor Frankl describes life in German concentration camps during World War II and its cost at the humans have an unbelievable resilience and capacity to enjoy even in the hardest of circumstances. But only if they can see a purpose once the purpose is gone the will to live extinguished that soon followed. those who have a why to live can bear almost any how from this personal and harrowing experience

Frankl develop logotherapy is psychotherapeutic method for helping people deal with a range of mental illnesses, like depression and anxiety. He believed was that the root of many of these conditions was to be found in excess existential angst a loss of meaning a loss of purpose and meaning and purpose could be rediscovered it be addressing the source of the condition. I don't think it's a coincidence that a lot of people in software development struggle with mental health issues. I think it's significant portion of those struggles including my own stomach or lack of

meaning in our work and the cognitive dissonance that arise from thinking about our industry exclusively in rational market-based terms. I think it's why so many startups in technology or so eager to boast about just how serious and important their mission is, even if it's evidently not so they're trying to compensate for the actual loss of meaning and purpose that a lot of us suffer under either periodically or chronically Dropbox our mission. We are here to unleash the

world's Creative Energy by deciding a way of working. for Fox sake Dropbox You hosted files you make those files appear on all my computers. I like Dropbox. I use dropbox I pay for Dropbox. unleashing creativity in any meaningful sense of those words It stores my files. It's literally a filing company. Do you think filing cabinet companies of yesteryear bragged about unleashing the creative capacity of the whole fucking world? Of course, they didn't charge.

But now there is no church on Sunday. It's just an all-nighter at the start of office. There's no surprise that work now feels obligated to tend not just what I need for making a living but also for putting all the purpose into that living in stores frequently room for little elf is not the epitome of the hustle culture that we're currently in the newest. Stop feeding bees meaning deprived startups all your waking hours rendering it utterly impossible to build other pillars of meaning in your life. The Trap of compress your life's work into a

decade of hard work. It's betting all your logos on you meaning on a single unlikely to pay off ticket. And even if it does pay off in the sense that would work on turn into be a success. You might still wake up to a Crisis crisis of meaning. Just ask Brian Acton co-founder of WhatsApp about that. He made one of the biggest slam dunk possible when he sold his company to Facebook for 19 billion dollars. And yes, this is how we felt about in an interview after leaving the company. I sold my uses privacy to a larger benefit. I made a choice and a

compromise and I live with that every day. As I personally think back on my two decades in this industry. I can recall several instances where I wrestled with this loss of meaning and purpose and face both a professional and personal slump as a result. The first time when working for an Enterprise Java shop back in 2001 that stole Community software to large institutions. I wasn't writing any of the job. I was writing the HTML the JavaScript and c s p by caffeine dumbstruck by the amounts of Hoops and circles with jump through at that circus to essentially

sell phpbb $4000000. My role in that show seems so insignificant. So other than pointless, like what am I even doing here at complete lack of purpose and as a result a complete lack of motivation to work both my work and my betterment. I only worked there for nine months, but it seems like the days drakon for weeks and weeks dract on for months in terms of technical skills. I learned nothing in terms of management of business. I learned everything not to do. The second instance of that but stands out as surround the year

2009 10 years ago. When I've been working at Basecamp for about 6 years without all the features. We thought they'd sends all the big breakthroughs major challenges have been meth and addressed. We were left polishing the edges at the same time. I was four years into living in a foreign country with an alien culture and had little to show in the sense of personal relationships born. There was all this work I could be doing but I couldn't bring myself to do it at the time. I couldn't quite put my finger on why I just knew that the motivation was in there. So I spend a lot of

time procrastinating and seeing weeks go by with no progress partly. This was because I simply felt I wasn't needed anymore sure, I could participate but if I didn't things would go on just as well. The main thing that kept me going professional was working on Rails. I was suffering quote from what to do when you felt like burnout at Basecamp not from overwork, but from under purpose being able to keep my brain engage with rails to the soul working on open stores outside of the context at the marketplace and its expectations with a lifeline. Thankfully this lump at base camp didn't

last not long after we wrote a new book we work. We launched the brand new version of rail from scratch and those projects. I had a clear purpose for my unique towns as a writer essays and software continue to make a difference. This is the snowball effect of meaning at work. You don't have just a fixed pie of productivity to divide amongst your speed a commercial or open-source the pie expanse and shrinks depending on your motivation. And you moved when one area of your life is Contracting it shrinks

all the other areas along with it. And when one part of your life is expanding others often followed to it's a testament to the fact that you can indeed cultivate MTG as Frankel discovered the local therapy and if the extension have been preaching Sabina changing your circumstances or your outlook? You can create or even invent meaning which interns then become self-sustaining because it feeds on itself doing meaningful work provides for a meaningful life which inspires more meaningful work its recursive. But if it's possible for open sores to create meeting in your work. It's also

certainly possible to destroy it. Turn that with you to give you Joy into that would now gives you address the open-source world is full of examples of maintainers and contributors who ended up turning a labor of love into just that dead end of free labor and hating to work and sometimes himself in the process Lance return to Maslow's pyramid of needs and it's inside of a supporting base inside was it it's difficult to impossible to strive for the peak of the pyramid. If you have not tended to his face physiological needs proceed safety needs proceed all the way up to self

actualization and self-transcendence the weather contribute to an open source project start seeing their work loose connection to self-actualization is steam or even love and belonging not only is it possible to impossible to strive for self-transcendence since that relies on a complete pyramid below with its also what causes someone to retreat to the more bass levels of safety needs. This can happen either because the Rider by Diaz that they can connect to on a personal level because they allow themselves to think that the customer is always right or because open so suddenly needs to

shoulder the livelihood for one reason or another. Bring up. These reasons is surprisingly easy to end up feeling like what you doing is Free Labor and that's a rotten deal because it is if the base needs aren't satisfied through other means than you've lost connection to your highest driving the whole thing quickly the balls into a fight for survival. And that's how we get back to the discussion about sustainable open source software development. Let's start with that word sustainable cuz I think it sets us up for the false premise right from the get-go. If we're

not careful. It's first Association pulls his right into that beautiful Meadow that must be guarded from the overgrazing in the tragedy of the commons sustainability is inherently linked with the concept of scarcity. It's hard to stop. That's Bible of bereavement. Once you've chosen to look at open source software development this way. It's the way of stallman is a GPL license walking around with that. Someone might take your software and do things to it that you wouldn't like spending it without sharing those extensions

temperament. I'm not interested in making software together with people or companies who would rather not Who are extorted into collaboration by software license? Maybe that works for Linux, but it seems like a pessimistic angry and frankly counterproductive way to entice and actually respect people. It reminds me of the book the self-driven child in which author stickrath and Johnson take the position then rather than acting as a manager you should act as a consultant in dealing with your children not think it's towards good

outcome. But ultimately respecting their self-control. I've been apparent for about six years. Now. We have two kids then a third on the way and it's hammered home the reality of just how hard it is to get someone to do with thing. They don't want to do I'm not just hard but counter-productive and short-term you might get a temporary level of compliance, but it's not exactly an enthusiastic for Creative one and a relationship based on forced compliance is ultimately one that relies and threats shaming for rating or worse. It's not

exactly a loving or productive one. Maybe I'm reaching again here. But if we take the poster child of the GPL Linux and we look at the person who's been in charge there for a long time line is I see similarities threatening manager who's extract and contributions out of collaborators. I don't see that as a healthy model, but now it's at the MIT license is very different. And I think it sets a completely different tone for the working relationship between open toes contributors. And that's a GPL. What is not a bulletproof vest and if you're

tumbling down the Pyramid of me and you don't land until you hit security and safety, it's still possible to superimpose the deaths right subtract the value system of the GPL on top of it in that context Haunting of shaming adopters not doing their part can start to make sense of these to be a great person. Here's what made sense to me over the past two decades of sustaining and active open-source involvement. This is my personal truth. To resist the temptation to treat my open source work as a set of transactional market-based

exchanges. That personal truth has brought profound meaning to my life and a much-needed Escape. And should your personal pyramid of needs allowed? I invite you to do the same to rejective this utopian parallel universe with questions. Like what can just do for me? What can you do for me? Am I getting enough back from what I put in? Open source as seen through the lens of the MIT give license has the power to break us free from this overly rational cost-benefit analysis bullshit. That's impoverishing our lives in so many other ways. It's a lens that isn't

smashed by the tragedy of the commons where we find meaning in our work. And I mean that in the broadest sense not just in what you employed to do to go beyond getting the job done and to connect with other petitioners as other humans and not just as Market participants and way to create bonds for your foot pro quo reciprocal expectations to borrow a phrase from stallman Free Labor as in free under Freedom not freezing Gratis free from the man's free from debt free from shame free from repayment. And this part I'm

still working on myself free from having to sell. To reject measuring my worth in the same bullshit measures of Engagement that's driving The Wider World off a cliff. Free to pursue intrinsic motivation from a quest for autonomy Mastery and purpose that isn't Shackled solely by employment for business free to reach for self Transcendence that lies and giving away to best of what you got and asking nothing in return. Jokes to pick up this mindset. I'd like to borrow an ancient concert from the history of debt the Jubilee

I hereby declare a jubilee for all imagine death and obligations. You think you might owe me or the rails Community as a whole let no one call upon you to ever feel obligated to repay this Vanquish that contribute to the rails Community because it brings you meaning to your life because writing Ruby Sparks Joy don't participate if it doesn't either way your hole and we're Square. This is locked his tablet of dramamine for the nausea of your otherwise Market soap life. Along with an open invitation to

make socialize software together. Thank you very much.

Cackle comments for the website

Buy this talk

Access to the talk “RailsConf 2019 - Opening Keynote by David Heinemeier Hansson”
Available
In cart
Free
Free
Free
Free
Free
Free

Access to all the recordings of the event

Get access to all videos “RailsConf 2019”
Available
In cart
Free
Free
Free
Free
Free
Free
Ticket

Interested in topic “Software development”?

You might be interested in videos from this event

September 28, 2018
Moscow
16
159
app store, apps, development, google play, mobile, soft

Similar talks

Chris Kimbell
Head of Design at Atlassian
Available
In cart
Free
Free
Free
Free
Free
Free
Javier Serrano
Leader of the hardware and timing group at CERN
Available
In cart
Free
Free
Free
Free
Free
Free

Buy this video

Video

Access to the talk “RailsConf 2019 - Opening Keynote by David Heinemeier Hansson”
Available
In cart
Free
Free
Free
Free
Free
Free

Conference Cast

With ConferenceCast.tv, you get access to our library of the world's best conference talks.

Conference Cast
558 conferences
22059 speakers
8245 hours of content