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Commit to Keep Coding – GitHub + Beeminder (gitminder.com)
29 points by dreeves on Feb 22, 2013 | hide | past | favorite | 13 comments

I'm the Bee in Beeminder. I think that beeminding your github account is going to be amazing for hackers/founders -- a way to force yourself to always be making forward momentum. We've been tracking how much code we write for over a year now -- though in a bit more structured way. We track user visible improvements (it has to be something worthy of tweeting @beemuvi for the hardcore fans of beeminder). We've been doing one-per-day for 733 days now and if we ever fall behind we pay a user $1000. It's been invaluable in keeping us going!

Summary for those not familiar with the craziness that is Beeminder: It's a combination of quantified-self tool and a commitment device app (like StickK and GymPact and Aherk) where you put up money, to be paid if you don't do what you said you were going to do. In this case you're pledging to push commits or close issues a certain number of times per week.

The money aspect sounds super perverse, but we think of it as paying a fee for a service (the graphs, reminders, etc) that happens to be waived if you never need Beeminder's kick in the pants.

Very cool - anyone who's following pg's advice to "stay alive" would be well advised to git committing :)

I don't think counting commits is a good metric, because I know if it were me, I would start splitting my commits up into trivial changes in order to meet the count ("added comment", "added line break", etc).

It supports going by issues, which is better, but how about counting additions/deletions?

We've got an integration with Rescuetime as well so that you can mind productive or unproductive time. If weaseling on commits is an issue you could also just increase the number of commits you're committing to. Arms race between current you and future you!

Ooh, yes, GitHub's impact metric. We should add that.

I think minding commits isn't as bad as it could be theoretically though. I feel like pride is sufficient deterrent not to do pointless commits. And general pressure for more fine-grained commits is probably valuable.

Well, the repo I'm thinking about using this on is private, so I have no pride and no shame.

Wait, I guess this doesn't support private repos.

Oh, Gitminder does let you beemind private repos, as long as the github account you oauth with has access to it.

Can we get details about the way this is implemented?

I assume you poll Github on some timescale? I noticed that Beeminder took around 24h to see my commits.

We are in fact polling using the GitHub API, but it should be hourly, not daily.

Right after I finished this we noticed that we could also do this with a post commit hook, so we're planning to implement that as well.

I want folks to commit to removing bugs!

New development is destabilizing. That means more bugs. I want folks to commit to creating bugs too!

Ha, great point! For our own User-Visible Improvements goal we initially felt like it shouldn't count to fix a bug that we had only just created, since that's not exactly a net improvement. But then we decided that it's fine to count it, for exactly the reason you say.

We haven't gone quite so far as to count the actual creation of the bugs towards our goal though. :)

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