Giving Back

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Yeah, I’m just running with the most cliché possible title for this post.

One of the things I’ve always liked about Stack Overflow is their “Stack Gives Back” program. Each December, they donate some amount of money to open-source software projects that the Stack Exchange sites use, as well as to five or so charities with the allocation chosen by the site moderators. I always thought that was a really nice thing to do: when you benefit from the work of volunteer open-source developers, it’s only fair to support them if you have the means to do so. And back when I was a moderator on Physics Stack Exchange, it was nice to be effectively given the choice of where to donate $100 so I could support organizations that were meaningful to me, especially at times when I couldn’t really justify making a donation from my own money.

So now that I have the means, I’m going to do my own round of “giving back”. In the past few days I’ve made donations to the following projects:

  • €50 to KDE, the desktop environment that I use every day at home and work and the reason I got into C++ programming in the first place (which allowed me to get this job)
  • $50 to the Mozilla Foundation, maintainers of the last standing competitor to Google’s web browser engine (and also the Thunderbird email client although I think that might use a separate donation pool)
  • $99 for a supporting membership to the Python Software Foundation, my favorite quick-and-dirty-but-also-generally-great programming language
  • $50 to the Wikimedia Foundation in recognition of all the random Wikipedia articles I’ve read while waiting for code to compile over the past year
  • $50 (plus fees) to the Internet Archive because they’re doing great work to preserve knowledge and maintain accountability
  • $8.55 CAD to, the Mastodon instance I joined when Twitter imploded (more on that to come later) (why $8.55? Exchange rates, basically)

This is all in addition to the Patreon subscriptions and regular donations I’ve been making before. Honestly, I get enough out of all these organizations that they would be worth supporting regularly.

If you can, join me in sending some support to whatever organizations you’ve benefitted from this year as well!