Gitminder: Commit To Keep Coding

Friday, February 22, 2013
By Andy Brett

GitHub's Octocat holding a bitty bee

Beeminder Reprise

For the full Beeminder story, you could start with our inaugural blog post about akrasia and self-binding, a.k.a. commitment devices. If you know all about commitment devices — perhaps you know one of our competitors like StickK or GymPact — but don’t know what’s special about Beeminder, the secret is that we combine Quantified Self with commitment contracts. That means that (1) if you’re a lifehacking data nerd you’re going to adore us to pieces and (2) you can make commitment contracts that are based on data and much more flexible than with something like StickK.

Commit to Commit

Hackers in particular tend to like us a lot, and we just made it a lot easier to beemind your hacking.

At the risk of launching a thousand rants from the old neckbeard guard, it’s hard to imagine what writing code was like before git and GitHub came along. GitHub has made it really easy for people to collaborate on projects, and gives you some nifty stats to boot.

For some people, those shiny graphs are enough (and if that’s you, by all means, try out tenXer). But if you’re reading this, there’s a good chance that you’ve discovered that a little extra motivation can work wonders.

We’ve now made it really easy to beemind your GitHub progress, adding it to our list of integrations (we’re going to need a bigger boat). Thanks to Duke Leto for taking the lead on an early version of an integration with GitHub.

Both public and private repositories work — you authorize Beeminder to access the repository when you create the goal. Right now you can choose to track your commits to a repository or the number of issues you close. If there are other things or ways you can think of to track your progress, let us know in the comments (or hack something together with our API).

Beeminder will automatically update your graph from GitHub once an hour, so once it’s set up, just keep coding away and closing issues. And stay on the Yellow Brick Road.

Create a Gitminder Goal

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  • Justyn

    This is great!
    It would be awesome to also have an option that isn’t tied to a specific repository, but your account as a whole.

    Think of Github Contributions, for example, which measures all your activity rather than that on a specific repo:

    If you can set a goal linked to all repositories in your account it allows you to pledge to write more code – any code! – without tying yourself to a particular project that you may not want to work on certain weeks.

    Personally, I would use both options – goals for specific projects on a case by case basis and an all-repositories goal to make sure I’m committing enough every week overall.

  • Ezra Bradford

    In the second-to-last paragraph, one of the sets of parentheses is unclosed.

  • Daniel Reeves

    Thanks Ezra! I hesitate to tell you that if you read my stuff over on that closely you’ll make a lot of money on typo bounties. :)

  • Joe Burgess

    Does this only track commits on the Master Branch? My dev workflow is work on a feature branch day to day and then merge in features as I finish them.

  • Daniel Reeves

    Hi Joe – yes, unfortunately right now it only tracks the master branch. So your graph might look a little jumpy, but if you have some safety buffer built up and you merge things in semi-regularly it should be no problem. We’ll look at adding the ability to select a branch as well.

  • Justyn

    I’ve just noticed that you’ve added whole-account watching now, it’s great, thank you!

  • Daniel Reeves

    Ha, you’re welcome! Though I feel pretty dumb that we totally forgot that you proposed this 5 months ago. Do you have a twitter account and/or URL for hat-tipping purposes?

  • Justyn

    No really, it’s an amazing feature that’s already changing my behaviour! But I’m @justynB on twitter if you like :-)

  • taw

    Can I make that only track my public (open source) repositories?

    I commit to private repositories (for work) a lot, but that’s not what I want to track particularly much here, I get paid for that already.

  • Daniel Reeves

    Great point, and we want to do that anyway so that we don’t have to ask for such scary-sounding permissions for people who just want to beemind public repos.

    In the meantime you can either beemind one particular repo or all your repos.

  • Andrew Reid

    Is it still the case that it only tracks the master branch?

  • bsoule

    For specific repository goals, yes. We only track commits in the master branch. If you are tracking all commits across all repos, then we do get commits across all branches. (The former uses the endpoint, whereas the latter uses endpoint).