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How rewarding is open source for a programmer's career? If open source software were less prominent, how might that affect the programmer's career? Would the possibility of not having to work for someone else be equally rewarding?

If open source software were less prominent and the gaps were filled by other companies, whose size might range from indie to large corporations, how might that affect the programmer's career?

Would the possibility of not having to work for someone else while supporting themselves be equally rewarding?
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categorytechnology
typeeveryone
tynamite
tynamite's avatar why the lucky stiff

Why the lucky stiff at RailsConf Europe

Long-time Rubyist and the community's own resident crazy genius, whytheluckystiff (a.k.a. _why) seems to have gone missing. Not only has he deleted his Twitter account (@_why) but his Github repositories and all of his great Ruby related Web sites - poignantguide.net, hackety.org, whytheluckystiff.net, and shoooes.net are all down and not even resolving at DNS level.


The Poignant Guide, Hpricot, Markaby, RedCloth, Shoes, Camping, and Try Ruby (a Web version of irb) are considered important by Rubyists not only for their usefulness but for their significant contribution to Ruby's culture, and if _why has truly fallen off the grid, it's a big deal. That said, this appears to be either a deliberate attempt to disappear or a major hack and not just a bunch of coincidental outages. In either case, hopefully he'll be back soon.
What's the motive? We have nothing definite, but Hacker News user fizx quoted a recent tweet from why before he deleted his account:

programming is rather thankless. u see your works become replaced by
superior ones in a year. unable to run at all in a few more.

Meanwhile, Twitter users are going bonkers over the news:
http://www.rubyinside.com/why-the-lucky-stiff-is-missing-2278.html
A comment on the article
Why the Lucky Stiff truly was an inspiration to me: he introduced me not only to the beauty of the Ruby language through his incredibly inspiring Poignant Guide to Ruby, he really stretched my imagination and creativity. His artwork (including his code) is both whimsically wonderful and certainly contagious!
I understand not feeling valued, and perhaps we've taken advantage of the fact that we could depend upon this pillar of eccentric creativity, but we certainly do notice when such a huge character that's both given a subtly curious shape to our ever growing community and contributed quite thanklessly to our libraries, code, and minds.
Now he has a virtual shrine for him in website form. His Twitter account he deleted now is taken up by someone who uses it to pay respects to him.

Everywhere you read about him, people pay their respects to him as if he was a martyr or The Beatles. Nobody cares to think about how his projects are now outdated or were outdated in 2009 when he vanished from the internet.

He's even got a museum for him catalouging his stuff, and loads of other tributes across the internet. Every Rails fanatic now calls him an inspiration instead of a has-been.

So I suppose, if you can't leave the game with relevance, you it's best to leave as an icon.
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