Investing in Ourselves

When we founded Relevance in 2003, when it was just the two of us in Stu's garage, we established a rule that we would dedicate 20% of the "normal work week" to open source development. As the years have passed, and Relevance has grown (22 and growing!), the details of how we implement "20% time" and what we spend it on has undergone some gradual shifts, but the core principle remains: our team and our customers benefit when we spend that time on non-billable activities.

Our current version is that we spend our 20% time on Fridays. That means no client standups, no billable time, no deadlines to meet. But we don't just focus on open source (though that is still a major component). Team members can write or patch open source code, perform charitable work (through code or otherwise), focus on personal growth, work on long-term projects for company betterment, and contribute to the community.

Even though we've been doing this for 7 years now, we've been quite lax about collecting what we've done in one place. With that in mind, here's what we've done the past couple of weeks:

  • PDFKit – Jared pushed version 0.4.0
  • Rspec 2 – Chad plowed through reported issues
  • Incanter – David updated Incanter to the latest Clojure
  • Labrepl – Aaron worked through reported issues
  • Hackety Hack – Chris mentored Fela via the Ruby Summer of Code program
  • New World Order – Rob kept the New World Order up to date
  • Clojure Recipes – Aaron created a new recipe
  • BullCityForward – Justin worked with BCF on some internal application code
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