Wellll… here’s my four-part answer:
First - “Superficiality regarding the mere quantity of contributions”:
I don’t know whether I have an opinion that reflects the overall state of this phenomena, yet I don’t feel it that much over here in Europe… but then again, I haven’t switched my daytime job in 3 years so maybe this has changed. It may just be a difference concerning the nature of somebody who is judging you. From a startup world? Yeah, maybe people from that reality are more prone to this phenomena. I myself am not so much involved with this whole startup hype, as I dislike many ideas and concepts revolving around it (VC, monetarization, people feeling somehow more “hip” and “fancy” because they work at a start up for nothing, but are part of “the next big thing”). I mainly contribute to software/projects, because I support the cause of a software and because I want the world to have proper FOSS alternatives to vendor lock-ins and SaaS and centralized services. From that perspective, I couldn’t give less of a shit whether my name is mentioned or not.
Second - Quantity over quality:
This, I think, is the effect of the neo-capitalist, number-focussed mindset trickling into the open source world. We unlearn the ability to judge others by other means than numbers - for example their friendly and social behaviour in a community (giving people JOY of being part of a group of contributors). Or the on-point quality of pull requests. Those things can’t be captured in numbers, yet are not seldomly more important than the actual figures.
Third - Does a falling tree make a noise if nobody hears it
I would call it the instagram-phenomena. There are lots of reasons why people to this:
- Some want to share their life with their friends & family
- Some want to project an image of themselves to the world
- Some want third parties to get a quick grasp of what they do
… I think all of the above reasons are, in itself, legit motivations. The overall topic is, I think, that we want something to look back on… in recent years more than ever, I feel. Did it happen, when it doesn’t exist digitally and permanently and is captured in some kind of … “summary of your online-life”? To be honest: I have no real answer to that. It’s more of a philosophical discussion, is it not? Is the fact, that I have done something and contributed to a bigger cause than myself, in itself, not a sufficient reason for doing something? Do I have to look back on it? Do I need to be able to show others what I have done? Is it not better to just live “in the moment”. If so: why did our grand-parents keep photo albums?
Fourth - circling back to the topic at hand
The important point for me in this context is:
- can we reduce the number of issues
- can we raise the quality of issues
In the end, any means that makes me and others able to achieve that, would be fine for me (namecalling involved or not).