Jacob Rockowitz: Ozzy, the puppy, vs. Drupal, the open-source project


Last June, after comforting my family while being sickened with COVID and then locked down for a few months in NYC, my coworker, Ralph, passed away.

For the 20 years I have worked remotely, Ralph laid beneath my desk for almost all of them. When my days started creeping toward the 12-hour mark, Ralph was there, urging me to take a break, forcing me out the door. When his age and increasingly poor health meant Ralph could no longer go for long morning walks in the park, I started spending my morning hours building and maintaining the Webform module for Drupal 8.

Drupal time

For the past few years, I’ve had the privilege of making a significant contribution to Drupal. My work and life aligned to make it feasible for me to have the “free time” to build and maintain the Webform module for Drupal 8/9.

In this context, my “free time” is defined with regard to two significant aspects of my life – my work and my family. Over the years, I’ve budgeted a considerable amount of my free time spent to the Drupal community for no pay/at no cost.

The fact that my work in Drupal is mostly unpaid and consumes my “free time” is one of the biggest challenges for me to continue to sustain my contribution to Drupal.

The fact that my contribution to open source is unpaid means my family and work should come first and that my open source contributions have to take the back seat. Simply put, family always comes first, and earning money helps my family. In the current pandemic, it’s even more clear that we need to keep our family safe, and with its economic impact, we also need to keep our jobs. In 2021, I am most likely going to have to focus more of my energy on work.

Fortunately, before I started working some long days, my family just adopted Ozzy, the puppy.

Ozzy the puppy

Once I realized that I would have a puppy to take…Read More