1000+ Pull Requests: What kept me going?

I have been asked this question many times since I submitted over 1000 PR. Before I answer this question, I would like to share a secret with you all.

It all started in the month of Jan 2015 with Pull Request Challenge (PRC) pioneered by Neil Bowers. Although I was already submitting PR before that but without any target. With PRC, I got direction where to go. I must admit taking on PRC wasn't easy one. I didn't want to make a fool of myself by joining PRC and not submitting PR regularly. I still remember first couple of months, so many Perl hackers joining the PRC but not every one actually submit PR regularly. Some even dropped after a while. But I kept it going as I was enjoying it. Although I was hardly getting any acknowledgement from the distribution author. It can be discouraging for the beginners.

Since I was already doing it even before PRC, I wasn't expecting anything different. I needed something to keep the momentum going otherwise the chance of getting distracted was very high. So I thought of setting some target to keep myself motivated.

In the month of Sep 2015, I decided that I will do 1 PR every week instead of month. I successfully submitted 4 PR in Sep 2015. The following month, I was introduced to Hacktoberfest Challenge by Neil Bowers. And that was the turning point for me. I managed to submit 45 PR in just one month. It was a big achievement for me. Following month wasn't bad either as I submitted 31 PR. But the big push came in December when I had a bit of free time, I submitted 60 PR. That completed year 1 of PRC without missing a month.

In the new year 2016, I decided to continue 1 PR per week till then the end. Did I manage to achieve this? Yes and No. Because of work load, I missed one month where I could only submit 3 PR and that was Sep 2016. Still I wasn't disappointed at all.

In the year 2017, I tried to carry on 1 PR per week target. However I missed 2 months, May and Jun, submitting only 2 and 3 PR respectively.

At the end of year 2017, I decided to set the target a bit high up. So the new target was to do 1 PR every day on average every month. It doesn't have to be literally every day but If I could submit more PR than the total number of the days in the month then it is "Done" for me.
Touch wood ever since Jan 2018, I have successfully managed to do that. There are still
few months left in the year but I am confident that I can still achieve my target. Next month is Hacktoberfest Challenge, so I am sorted already. Followed by November and December, they are always very kind to me so far.

Going back to the original question, the answer is I keep setting target to keep myself motivated. If I have a target then I am more focused and do it religiously. I also like playing with numbers, so it is more fun to collect these numbers at the end.

Are you interested to contribute to CPAN? If yes do get in touch and we can do it together. I promise it is going to be lots of fun.

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About Mohammad S Anwar

user-pic CPAN Author & Contributor. Co-editor of PerlWeekly newsletter. Write article for http://perl.com, Father of 3 angels. Indian by birth, British by choice.