This is a true story.

I write software for fun and profit. I release a lot of it as open source, which for the uninitiated means I give it away for free. I think it makes the world better, like recycling and walking instead of driving. It’s how I chip in.

This morning I got an email from the Perl module bug tracker. It was filed, automatically I believe, by Andreas König, one of the stalwarts of the Perl testing community. The testing community is a group of people who test the code that I write and give away for free. They do it for free too. It’s how they chip in.

The bug report email that I got told me that a module I uploaded recently was causing a different module, that I also maintain, to fail its tests. As it happens, I had already fixed those tests but had forgotten to release the new version of the module with the fixed tests. So I took about 5 minutes to verify the tests were fixed, prepared and uploaded the release, and then closed the bug report ticket.

Now I’ve repeated this same process (get bug report email, fix and upload new version) many dozens of times. It all starts with someone else, though; someone else who takes 5 minutes to report that the software I’ve written is failing to do something it promised (like pass its tests). One brick builds on another till we have a strong building.

So I thank Andreas König and all testers everywhere. They are the Harry Tuttles of the internet. I thank them for chipping in.