I recently attended workshop on Git and Contributing to Open-Source Projects on GitHub. This was hosted by a group called OpenHatch at UCD. Two friends escorted me to the door and dropped me off at a registration desk where smiling students gave me a “hello, my name is ____” tag. I felt that I was entering into a place where, because lower-level programming was the focus, my designs and front-end frivolity might not be welcome. I was nervous, even though I’d used Git before.
The event was interesting. I did the various exercises, making conversation with some of the “mentors” of the event, who assured me that many open source projects do need front-end work, and that communicating via discussion lists and IRC channels might be a great way to get involved.
Fast forward to waking up after watching an episode of the thrilling clone-themed television show Orphan Black, and I’d had a dream that seemed profound and yet probably wasn’t quite.
As I walked the streets of Brooklyn, I ran into a childhood friend of mine who I had not seen in years. She was agitated, worried for her mother. I came to understand that she was waiting outside of a building, one that, when I noticed it, looked large and ominous. She was hoping to sneak inside for a rescue operation.
I knew then that I had some familiarity with this building and that I could effectively sneak her mother out without getting caught. I offered and she agreed. I entered and quietly clicked my way down long hallways, glimpsing gray office dividers and various audio/visual equipment stacked on modern shelving units. Her mother was kept in a medical area and as I grabbed her arm and hurried her back to the daughter, I knew that a man with a trenchcoat was watching me from a doorway. He said “we knew you were here the whole time, you know. You can come and go as you please. Your lab is in here.” He spread his arm, indicating a room with metalic work tables, bright lights, and my name stenciled on frosted glass. I was so surprised that I said nothing, and gently propelled my friend’s mother out the front of the building into the arms of her daughter. They embraced in relief and as I recalled the hallways I had walked through, I understood finally that the hallways were in a figure 8 pattern. I knew that I would be going back there.