Doing things pro publico bono

Doing things pro publico bono

A few days ago when I posted the information about creating a course Becoming a software developer amongst many positive comments I had received at least a few question why would I do something like this for free. In the video below (English subtitles are available) I do present my answer. And I would also like to write a few additional remarks about it.


The short answer is pretty straightforward – I have a desire and urge to do so, end of story.
Yet, the real reason is far more complex. Over a year ago I did realize that randomness and some random events play a huge role in our lives. Being in a specific place, at the specific time, meeting some people that you wouldn’t meet if you weren’t there or missing some events – all of these things sometimes happen out of the blue. And some of them might have quite an impact on our lives (at least this is what happened in my case). Long story short – you can’t predict everything about your future even if you try to stick to the plan in 100%.

Thus, how does it apply to this whole idea of publishing this free course?
Well, let’s make it a little bit more generic – since I remember I’ve always enjoyed being helpful to others if I could only provide some value that would answer their questions. It could be anything like solving a math homework, helping with nutrition or training and so on. I quickly realized that this feeling of helping someone is a reward per se. If you ask for money, it’s totally different. However, if you do help because you just want to provide a guidance to somebody without expecting any reward in return this is quite a nice thing to do.

Now, the thing is, that Patryk Huzarski asked me for some help about making the first steps into the world of software development. And a few months ago I had a similar idea in my mind, to make such a course in which I would be a mentor, someone else would be a student and we would go through the programming language, good patterns and practices, build some useful application etc. And why should we limit this only to ourselves? Let’s make it public. Let’s record some screencasts, provide descriptions, materials and resources so that anyone could make use of it. I haven’t found such course in our polish market yet, so let’s just make it by ourselves – that was our call.

I’m aware that it will cost us a lot in terms of sacrificing our free time. For me, it’s going to be about 6-10 hours per week, and we’re aiming at the total number of 16 episodes – which results in 16 weeks and quite a lot of money spent if I was doing some additional freelance job during this time instead. But the thing is that I don’t even need to make more money now.
I’ve already gathered enough of it to live for quite some time and do not care about anything else.

Instead, I want to provide some good value for free to the others and this is my investment. Once people (hopefully) realize that I can provide some valuable content, then at some point in the future they may return and even pay some money for the other tutorials or so.
Even if they don’t, well, I couldn’t care less, as publishing some free materials to use that will help others to achieve their goals is enough reward for me.

Honestly, I think this attitude started a year ago when I started developing my first open source project ever. Thanks to the Daj Się Poznać, the way I started to think about creating a free and open software had totally changed. And I’ve just applied the same pattern to the mentoring part.

Eventually, I’d like to mention our Noordwind company – since, we’re a cooperative, we’re not aiming to put a CEO or CTO in front of our names and create some big corporate that would make us billionaires. Instead, we want to create the teams of skilled, ambitious and more importantly self-organizing people that will gain the most benefit (including money) from it. We’re so-called teal organization where the structure is totally flat, and there are no bosses, managements and other types of the hierarchies at all.

I hope that by now you understand what drives me and why I do enjoy so much doing things for free. Simply because life isn’t just about money. Remember, if you’re good at something, you’ll get a good paycheck anyway, so you shouldn’t be worried about this part. It’s just that sometimes there are more important things, like trying to spread some nice idea or just give out a part of yourself and your free time in order to help the others – just like that.

3 Comments Doing things pro publico bono

  1. Simon

    Hi Piotr,

    I really like your attitude and your work. I’m reading your Tweets and Blog posts for some time now (mostly quietly 😉 and hope you’ll continue your work.

    I wish you all the luck for your life.

    Kind regards

  2. Pingback: Open source implications | Piotr Gankiewicz

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