Taking a break from Elm

I wanted to get this out there before people start noticing my inactivity and start drawing their own conclusions:

I’m taking a break from all Elm-related open source work.

The main reason stems from something really cool that happened this summer: I became a father :slight_smile:

As such, the time I’ve got to spend on hobbies and open source work is diminished and hard choices has had to be made. Stopping open source Elm work, is one of those hard choices.

Me stepping away does mean that certain packages will go unmaintained. The most important of which I guess is elm-webpack-loader, elm-phone-number and elm-git-install. For packages that reside in the elm-community namespace, I hope that new maintainers will step in in time. For packages that have been published under my username (Skinney), I recommend that people fork those packages if they need to fix bugs or add features, as I will not be giving away write access to those repos.

Now, some might be remembering that my employer lets me spend up to 20% of my time working on Elm related things. If I can spend work hours contributing to Elm, how does becoming a parent change that?

It turns out that 20% time is actually a small amount of time :sweat_smile: There were some days which largely went into research. As in, there where whole days were I almost didn’t write any code, just read papers and went through issues and PRs on github, trying to figure out how best to contribute to the community. After a while, I started spending free time doing all the things which wasn’t code, just so I could spend those days feeling productive. Ironicly, having 20% of work hours to contribute to Elm actually increased the amount of free time I spent on contributing to Elm.

Because of that, and with some thinking on how life would be after this summer, I stopped spending 20% of my work time on Elm already back in march. Turns out, with the whole COVID-19 thing and the unforseen amount of time I spent on getting elm-warrior ready for a workshop, it was one of the better decisions I’ve made all year.

But I want to underline that this is, in fact, a break and not a good bye. I’ll still hang around the slack and in these forums, and I do still get a lot of exposure to Elm in my day-to-day job. I also expect to come over an interesting implementation in search of a problem every now and again too.


Many congratulations on becoming a father! :partying_face:


Sounds like a great application of priorities. Congratulations on being a new father!


And thank you for all your contributions so far!

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As a father of two I can only applaud the priorities you’re setting. While becoming a parent is a great gift, it is also a lot of work and adjusting to the new life situation as a family does take time. As a basketball maniac I had to make some sacrifices when my first child was born. I did miss basketball (as I was playing multiple times a week before for years) but I am happy about making the choice to shift time and energy where it was most needed.
You contributions will be missed in the community and it’s unfortunate that your 20% of time working on Elm wasn’t enough to be as productive as you hoped. I for sure am enjoying your upgrades to elm/browser and work on the Elm Debugger.

Other times will come again and Elm will still be around when you get your free time back bit by bit. Looking for ward to seeing you on slack.


You’re a absolutely making the right call. Kids develop so fast and it’s important to be present when it happens (if possible). Elm and hobbies will be there later.

After the first three months with my kid, I already see work and personal goals in a different way. I broke a years long streak of working with just short vacation periods by taking the whole summer off. It’s nice to go back to work - no more, no less.

Any time that I can spare for “selfish” things feels super valuable and I feel inspired. Maybe later I can combine these with spending time with my son.

Right now the best thing in my life is that he has learned to laugh :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

Enjoy the time off Elm and all the best to your family!


Congratulations and good for you Robin! We all wish you well and appreciate your many contributions to Elm.


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