Shinichi Tomita is the Founder & CEO of mashmatrix, Inc., the honorable creator of JSforce among many of his popular open-source repositories.
- What is JSforce, and what is the brief history (how/when/why did it start, how did it grow, etc)?
- How do we use JSforce from a developer’s point of view?
- What are the major challenges when developing JSforce?
- What has Shinich learned during this journey?
- What is the future roadmap? What new feature is coming?
- What does Shinich think about NodeJS development and Lighting Web Component?
Thoughts – why contribute to open-source?
Open-source nowadays is no longer a new topic for the IT industry, but it is still relatively new to Salesforce developers. Also, you might want to listen to this episode with the topic of Salesforce open source.
There are many contents on the internet talking about why developers should contribute to open source. Obvious benefits are, for instance, branding self, improving programming skills.
But there are other subtle benefits too.
Cross time-zone communication
Many open-source projects are across time zones — contributors can be from everywhere in the world. By working in those projects, you get to learn skills that you don’t have a chance to learn in physical teams.
Technology makes the world become smaller. Working in virtual teams and communicate efficiently and effectively is one of those essential skills we all have to master.
Communication skill in writing
I have never seen one successful open source project without good documentation, none.
While the JSforce project is an exemplar, many other popular Salesforce open-source projects reflect this point too. For example, the Mass Action Scheduler README and Wiki from Doug Ayers have really amazed me the first time I looked at. I cannot imagine how much time Doug spent on writing clear and step-by-step setup instruction and FAQs.
Besides, submitting and responding to issues is how most open source projects evolve. It is crucial to guide users to create issues with concise information so that you can easily reproduce and fix the issue. Meanwhile, you also need to reply to these issues in a clear and to-the-point manner.
Nowadays it is increasingly hard to get ahead and gain people’s attention for almost anything. This applies to the open-source world too. In order to create a success repo, you need to spend a LOT of time and constantly maintain and improve it.
It takes dedication and perseverance to become a success. In other word, success comes very slow. It might take years before getting people’s attention, it is a boring and lonely journey that many ones quit in the halfway.
Yet, this is a perfect way to practice perseverance, which, IMO, is THE MOST IMPORTANT ability in our lives. This ability is something I am practicing and this is one of the reasons I admire very much the guest of this episode — Shinichi.
Questions of today
What is your story in the open-source world?