Open Sourcing Depression

Edward Finkler (Graph Story)
Geek Lifestyle
Location: E146 Level: Novice
Average rating: *****
(5.00, 4 ratings)
Slides:   external link,   2-PDF 

In the spirit of open source, I’d like to shine a spotlight on depression. Not because it’s easy, but because it’s important. Mental illness affects many of us, but the stigma attached to it dissuades most people from talking about it openly. That’s not how we make progress. With this talk, I want to do my part.

I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety when I was thirteen, and I’ve been struggling with it my whole life. In this talk, I’ll discuss how it has impacted my work as a developer, husband, and father.

By speaking openly about my own challenges and successes, I hope those struggling with mental illness will learn how to be happier and more productive, and others can better understand how to be helpful and supportive.

Photo of Edward Finkler

Edward Finkler

Graph Story

With his 15 years of passionate web development experience and open source advocacy, Ed Finkler loves empowering people through technology. He’s excited about creating things and sharing them with the world.

He served as web lead and security researcher at The Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security (CERIAS) at Purdue University for 9 years. More recently, he has been helping startup teams build exciting e-commerce, social sharing, and mapping systems. He’s a proud member of the FictiveKin team, working on Gimme Bar and other swanky web applications.

Ed spends much of his free time creating and working on open source projects such as Spaz, a long-running, award winning microblogging client. Built on open technologies like JavaScript, HTML5 and CSS, Spaz continues to be the choice of thousands of users who value transparency, flexibility, and strong UX. Ed also created the PHPSecInfo auditing tool and the Inspekt input filtering library for PHP.

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Picture of Andrew Whitaker
Andrew Whitaker
07/26/2013 9:08am PDT

Thanks for giving this subject tome much needed sunlight, I got a little choked up a couple times just from the shockingly similar experiences you’ve had with depression. It may have just spurred me to get more involved in the community.


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