Lance Laughlin

I'm a graduating New Media Interactive Development student from the Rochester Institute of Technology. I blog about open source software and web development

Month: May, 2014

It’s the final countdown!


So, the end of my college career is slowly approaching! WOOOHOO! Anyway, for our last assignment in Advanced FOSS we are to open 10 issues and close at least 5 of them by next week. We can either chose to update the course website or add to our existing projects…I’m doing a hybrid. Here are the 10 issues I plan on working with:


In-glass – CLOSED – CLOSED

Course Website – CLOSED – CLOSED

RocWiki/Wikipedia – CLOSED


Now for a recap!

It’s been a fun and enlightening year for me. My experience in free and open source software began last semester and I feel I’ve really come a long way since September. This post is technically supposed to cover the Advanced FOSS class; however, I think it’s important for me to cover the entire year since it was so important to me. At the beginning of the year I knew the basics of open source but had never done any actual open source development or contributed to any open source projects. The desire was always there…I just needed a little push in order to actually accomplish my goals. Luckily, the FOSS courses were there to inspire me to learn as much about the open source movement as possible.

My journey and really the thing that threw me into it all was Github. Initially I saw Github as a way of sharing my code with employers. Github was actually super beneficial for me in my job hunt. I was approached by recruiters who saw my Github account and was impressed by my code. SCORE! Pretty much every interview I got asked me to go through some projects on Github and talk about my reasoning behind my code. This was super helpful for me because it forced me to go back through my projects and make my code more efficient since I knew so many people would be looking at it and potentially forking my code.

Another great step for me was learning IRC. It’s really a great resource, especially when you have a great channel like RIT-FOSS. It was really nice because it allowed me to integrate myself into the open source community in both the digital realm and in real life! I now use a number of IRC channels to ask specific questions…super helpful!

I can safely say that I’ve become a much better programmer and person from learning about open source. I’m now much more eager to share my ideas and code with other. In the past I would be more hesitant doing so because I felt that all the work I had put into something would be wasted if I just gave it away. However, now I open source everything I do. This is mostly due to how much I’ve utilized others hard work. I feel like I owe it to all of those people who have helped me. Who knows, maybe someone will find my code at 4 in the morning after a long night of frustration and it will solve their problem for you.

Open source has changed my philosophical views on many things too (though I think the act of growing up has too). Again, I used to be a big proponent of private property (both physical and intellectual). I felt everyone deserved the right to keep their ideas locked in a tight box, after all, they are the ones who worked so hard to accomplish their goals. I still feel that this is an important right to have; however, I also realize that having the right to share your information freely is just as important, if not more. With Github and the FOSS movement thriving, it allows innovation to happen.

Thanks for everything FOSS!



Community Contribution 3

Coming soon…I promise.