Open Source journey of Igor Kasyanchuk

Igor Kasyanchuk (@igorkasyanchuk)
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  • Languages Ruby, JavaScript, HTML
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1. Can you briefly introduce yourself and share your background in software development and open-source?

My name is Igor Kasyanchuk, I'm from Ukraine and my professional software development carrier started in 2006.
Started a long time ago as a Java developer, then C++, and finally Ruby developer, in 2008. Since that only doing only Ruby (and related technologies).

2. What inspired you to start contributing to open-source projects, and how did you begin your journey in the open-source community?

I personally was surprised by the community. Everyone is helping everyone.

3. Can you describe some of the most influential or successful open-source projects you have contributed to and your role in them?

I'm glad that I contributed to the Rails. I did nothing crazy and mostly was fixing things that were bothering me.

4. How do you stay up-to-date with the latest developments and best practices in your technology stack or the open-source community in general?

I use several sources of information
- Ruby Weekly
- Twitter
- Rubyflow

5. What challenges have you faced while working on open-source projects, and how have you overcome them?

The main challenge is to find time.

6. What advice would you give to someone looking to start contributing to open-source projects?

Start with a simple project/idea/task as possible. Baby-steps first. Also try to solve your problem or just opensource some existing code snippet of any other "solution".

7. How do you balance your time between professional work, personal life, and open-source contributions?

I personally do open source when I feel comfortable. It can be months when I haven't made any commits, but it also can be a week when I create a few open-source Ruby gems.

8. Can you share any memorable experiences or lessons you've learned from working with diverse teams and contributors in the open-source community?

I found it very interesting to work with people across the globe. You can find great contributors who can support you.

9. In your opinion, what are the key factors that contribute to the success of an open-source project?

The idea, documentation, promotion, implementation, and support.

Every factor above is very important.

10. Can you discuss any trends or emerging technologies you're particularly excited about in the open-source space?

I like but it also scares me how AI is evolving. It's like a fast-moving train and need to jump inside. I personally tried to use AI tools like ChatGPT or Github Copilot, they already helped me to finish tasks sooner.

11. How do you approach problem-solving and debugging in your projects, particularly when dealing with open-source code?

For me best work is you simple need to clone the project, put binding.pry and inspect the code.

In addition don't forget to raise an issue (or check issues, even closed ones).

12. What tools, resources, or platforms do you find most valuable for managing your open-source work and staying connected with the community?

I recently started to use Discord and joined some communities. Using it not actively, but it's an interesting source of information/ideas/people.

13. In your experience, how have open-source contributions impacted your professional career and personal development?

One time I received a preliminary job offer without any call. Just based on my GitHub profile.
Also, it helped few times to convince clients that outsourcing company where I worked in the past has Ruby expertise.

14. What are some common misconceptions about open-source development that you'd like to address or clarify?

The most popular myth I think is that open-source projects can do only senior+ developers.
But in reality I saw cases when juniors already have few quite interesting and useful gems.

15. If you could only use one programming language for the rest of your life, which one would it be and why?

Ruby!

16. Can you recall any unconventional or creative solutions you've implemented to solve a challenging problem in your projects?

In the past, I created a gem (or code snippet) that changes numbers in the logs to some random numbers :)
This is a special RoR gem for April 1 (Fools day). It was funny to watch how people trying to understand what is happening.

17. What's the most unexpected or surprising way your open-source work has impacted your life or others' lives?

Almost every my Ruby gem was created on a purpose to solve my or my team's problem. For example:
- can't access staging DB, np - created rails_db gem
- need to export complex PDF with charts - rails_pdf gem
- need to pass to ChatGPT context of my models (schema, relations) - created "ask_chatgpt" gem
etc

18. As we conclude this interview, is there a message or piece of advice you'd like to share with our readers, especially those who are aspiring to become successful open-source developers?

First of all, try to make your life easier. And in case you see a need to use the same solution on a different project (or it would be something interesting to the community) this is an ideal case to make it open-source. And again, start with simple as possible ideas/solutions.

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