Volunteering

Volunteering to non-profit organizations or to open source software projects is my second deed (2-deed).

I started this activity in June 2009 by becoming a member of Builders, a RailsBridge project, that connects volunteers with projects for 501c3 non-profits.

So far, I am volunteering in two projects: 1) Sunset PTA and GlamourGals Foundation.

The basic reasons I do this are:

  • Learn
  • Network
  • Give back

I learn asking questions or watching other team members doing stuff I don’t know. I discovered this way of learning is much faster than just reading and online searching. It cannot replace these of course, but it can help in addition to these methods of learning. Sometimes, when I learn something new from a fellow team member, I feel that it would be very difficult to discover it by myself.

When you volunteer to various projects, it is very easy to meet people with more or less the same mentality as yours. You get the opportunity to know them, open up your mind to new ways of thinking, choose who you like better and maybe create stronger relationships that may lead to other forms of cooperation in the future. This is extremely difficult to accomplish if one is only dedicated to their daily business because they don’t have many opportunities to network with new people.

Years and years, I have been receiving a lot of help from the Internet community in various forms: Forums, using free open source projects, becoming better by participating to various communities, educating myself, watching the improvement of commercial products because of the pressure of open source equivalent products, and more. I give back to the community by actively contributing and this makes me feel good. It also helps sustain the community and continue growing it.

This is going to be my second deed and I’ll keep posting any news that fall under this category.

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