My Journey Towards CouchDB, by Damien Katz

I watched the presentation that Damien Katz (the one behind CouchDB) gave at RubyFringe in 2008. The presentation is a non-technical and inspirational description of his journey to be able to live off “doing cool stuff”, which for him is to write open source software.

Here are my highlights.

Reasons for doing “cool stuff”

  • educational
  • more family time
  • see what I can do
  • makes an interesting story

Java vs Erlang

One of the rare technical bits was that comparative slide:

A very tough journey towards happiness

It was really hard to take off and risk to jeopardize his family for “doing crazy stuff”. It took him a long time to get there; he went through highs and lows; he had to make sacrifices. That might be why so few people are willing to do it.

But today he can proudly say:

I’m that guy who gets paid to work on cool stuff from home.

There are no predetermined steps to reach this state of mind, this kind of living style. It is an intrinsically personal process which is discovered as one goes through it.

A requestioning of the status quo


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