Ten years ago today, I pair programmed with Petra Jaros on the first commit for pg_search, my Ruby gem.
Back then, I was working at Pivotal Labs in New York on the Casebook project when we were having trouble with a search engine deployment. My client product manager trusted me to spend a month or so of full-time billable hours to put together a new solution to take advantage of the built-in search capabilities of PostgreSQL. We open-sourced it, I wrote a blog post to announce its release, and before long we started to receive improvements from the community.
For the last ten years, I have maintained pg_search as a personal side project, for fun. I have learned quite a bit from maintaining the gem. Every once in a while, our test suite reveals a bug in Rails, which has been fun to investigate and try to fix. In my current job, I was recently able to use pg_search to build a type-ahead autocompleter.
Over the years I have released 62 versions of the gem. Most shocking of all, pg_search has been downloaded over 7.6 million times. I am humbled that the Ruby community has been so willing to use my work and contribute improvements over the years. I love free software, and it feels great to both give and receive.
Thanks to all the other software developers who have reported issues, submitted pull requests, and asked questions on our mailing list.
Here’s to the next decade! 🥂