Flourishing FLOSS: Making Your Project Successful

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Flourishing FLOSS: Making Your Project Successful
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You maintain an Open Source project with great code? Yet your project isn’t succeeding in the ways you want? Maybe you’re struggling with funding or documentation? Or you just can’t find new contributors and you’re drowning in issues and pull requests? Open Source is made up of many components and we are often better-trained in methods for writing good code, than in methods for succeeding in the other dimensions we want our project to grow. In this talk we’ll explore the different components of an Open Source project and how they work together. After this talk you’ll be well-equipped with a ideas and strategies for growing, cultivating, and nourishing your Open Source project. For your project to succeed, all of its non-code components must be well-maintained. What are these different components and what methods can we learn to maintain them? Build real relationships with your sponsors and determine ways how both sides can benefit from this relationship, don’t just ask people for money. Establish a good communication system with your contributors: Keep them informed, listen to their feedback and input, make them feel heard. Thank the people who worked on ticket triage or marketing, not just those who wrote code, in your release notes. Make it easy for new contributors to get started: Write and maintain good documentation, answer questions in a friendly and timely manner. Market and evangelize in the right places and at the right time: Give conference talks, organize sprints, keep your project’s Twitter account active, always curate new and interesting content on your blog or website. Implement a Code of Conduct and enforce it if needed: Make your project a safe space to contribute for everyone. With these methods and a half-dozen others, you’ll handle beautifully all the components your project needs to succeed. Outline Introduction - Who am I? What is this talk about? What is Open Source? Overview of the different components that make up an Open Source project Growing, cultivating, and nourishing your Open Source project - Or how to make your project more successful Operations Funding Marketing Branding Evangelism Documentation Community Diversity Contributors Cultivating new contributors Keeping current contributors happy Communication Efficient and sustainable processes Ticket triage Managing the pull request queue Main takeaways Q&A.
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310 so I'm going to get started Alan yeah Jing accounts so far this is my 3rd time they get to school getting a currency primary and I don't know you had a chance to see Alicia keynote this morning I looked keynote again very teary-eyed and it reminded me of why I this community so much so I thank you for being here and listening to you today and I am here
today to talk to you all about making the open source project successful at 1st like to introduce myself a lot of you might know me but some might not mining scanner and I'm from Germany I have a degree in english and Catholic theology that's why you saw Pope
Francis and William Shakespeare here but about
3 years ago I got involved in Python Django and started to teach myself coding and I noticed that I like code but also really like people so I can like working at the intersection of those and I currently work at elastic and properly relations and just started there last month so that's pretty cool and in every time and also involved in a few other tech-related things Picon US Open Spaces chair and doing kind diversity chair and I'm 1 of the leaders of the prior ladies remote group and and to started
to talk 1st of all I have to get a big shout out to Tom Christie at time Christie's a creator generous framework some of you may know him some of you may use generous framework and I had the chance to work with him as the community and operations manager of generous framework and most of what I know about open source comes from that time when working with Tom and end time is 1 of the most humble brilliant and kind people I know and and said that he can't be here today but I just wanted to give them a big shot out and before I start I would like to do a small informal survey who of you contribute to open source on the other hand whoever your open source project maintainers couple and you have you have not contributed yet but our thinking about contributing to open source can you should definitely come to the sprints if you are interested in contributing can also called on before I start I would like to 1st take a lot of time to explain what open source it's I don't know about you but when I when people ask me what do you do I never know how to explain it like a set started a new job and his sister he's using a very interested in what I do is ask me what what do you actually do for work and I just send her my job description because I had no idea how to explain it to her she's an English teacher so she's not a techie per cent so I found this definition which is a little bit on the longer side please bear with me and but it's really gets I would like to read it to you
source code refers to the code written to operate nearly anything your computer software your telephone an ATM machine even many of your household appliances have software written for them that allows them to operate in software that allows you to interact with those devices when code is open source
it means that anyone is able to read those lines of code reuse that code and in some cases modify the code to improve upon what you're permitted to do with the code depends on the software license under which it was released for the vast majority of the history
of software this code was never seen by anyone except those who wrote it was generally considered proprietary and part of the company's organizations intellectual property this was a very long definition so the sum this
up open source means that code is publicly accessible is reusable depending on the license and it is modifiable depending on the license and now we know what open source means but what exactly are open
source software communities of found another definition which is again a little bit on the longer side but I promise this is the last definition and and then we'll move on to different and because the code is freely
viewable and available to modify in most cases it provides an excellent basis on which people can write new or add onto existing projects but like most things in life when it comes to getting things done it is far more effective to work in groups the power of many is far greater than the power of 1 and open source suffer
community is made up of anywhere from a handful of people to hundreds or even thousands of people who are working collectively to improve the functionality of a piece of software that
contributors and users in this community do anything from answering questions 2 writing coach to working on documentation finding and fixing bugs and soliciting are providing feedback about how the software works
and do any of you have any guesses on where these definitions are from any guesses so that a trick question they're actually from elastic company internal documentation and we do a lot of open source and a lot of and the elastic kindly offered to pay for my trip yourself to mention that was kind that your own but actually thing that's definitions are really and if you have any other shorter definitions that you really like that explain to someone not technical what open source this and please send them away and love to read them and when we think open source
most of us think code and code definitely is an important part of open source projects but it's not the only part you can have the most amazing part code of the world that if you neglect all these other parts that you can see on this slide the your project is likely to fail and your project may need funding a project has a community that needs to be nurtured your project marketing your project needs good documentation and your project needs people to work on ticket tree us all of these things have nothing to do with writing code but they are as important as working on code you're gonna you may say that a lot because it's really important to me we tend to praise the people who write code that we don't press the people who write the dog so we don't place the people who work and social media but those all those components interact with each other and are equally important more about that later here a couple of examples of open source projects that I like just to clarify the sole bed Jane goes open source so
it's generous framework Python is also open source and elastic searches actually open source as well you will see that a lot of content companies out there on either maintain their own open source project ever use other open-source projects for their work and and some companies out there pretty much use over like we said open source code is free code that is out there to reuse depending on its and the pet said that some companies make money off of using free projects because other people spend free time on maintaining and developing these projects and so let's get down to the nitty gritty right away
it's important for open source users especially for companies using open-source projects to get back to open-source and this can be done by having the developers work on code and documentation during their work hours but oftentimes that not enough most open-source projects need money the and Tom Christie and does a lot of all something's with generous remark and time Christie's actually able to work on generous remark full-time as his job because he has established a very successful fund-raising model most of my time agenda restroom when I worked there was actually spent on fund-raising and how the lunar our sponsorship chair here Cheng con would really all them block toes her personal blog had explaining her journey about in teaching a con and she said that it takes about 70 e-mails to get 1 hour to sponsor so you can say that see that fund-raising as a lot of work but if you think about it it's a win-win situation time gets to do what he loves to get to work and generous remark full time and the people using generous firmer donate a little bit of money back this ranges from 15 to 400 dollars a month and if the company use for you worked for use as an open source project I can only encourage you to talk to them you don't give back to open source don't only think about it as giving back will also think about it as giving forward by supporting open source projects financially you make sure that the future development and maintenance sustained imagine that you use an open source project for a product and accompanying you heavily rely on it and imagine what would happen and that project was maintained anymore but 6 says no 1 I care about your issues there weren't any new feature is there it's likely that this would cost a huge issue for your product for your project a product at 1 point so next time that you hesitate about being had hesitate giving back to open source create that's in there in your head and it makes you nervous and then you should give a little bit of money and but
also as an open-source project maintainer don't just take someone's money you need to offer them something valuable in return both real relationships with sponsors and determine how both of you can benefit from this relationship like I said fund-raising is hard work if you have questions about fund-raising if you like to hear more about it I don't have time to go into detail here and please find me after motorcar reach out to time Chris you were both super happy to talk to you more about that the and 1 way you can offer a sponsor something valuable in return is simply to listen to them and listen to them and their needs and act upon it but also listen
to your users and contributors and listen to their feedback and input and also make them feel heard listening can sometimes be uncomfortable because you may hear things you don't want to hear and that if you ask people for the back and then you don't do anything about it then you may as well and ask and I was involved with an open source project where we g where we ask people for the fact that in the end we would only deal with the core contributors wanted to do a and that led to people getting frustrated and not contributing anymore and the project failed in the end it still exists but it's not very successful anymore so if you don't listen to your contributors it's likely that your project will fail also established good communication systems answer people's questions and slacker Irish Sea discussed get higher up on Twitter anywhere don't ignore what they have to say that communications it's systems are especially important if you want to cultivate new contributors and you will need they will need a way to reach out it's likely that they'll have questions so give them a way that they can reach you if I want to contribute to a project and I get stuck and there's no 1 that I can contact it's likely that I will move on to a different project which has a better support system and also be transparent with your contributors let them know what you working on currently would be working on in the future people like to know what's going on at time Christie publishes monthly progress reports and in which she explains what he's working on what she's planning on working on and he also does a really good job in breaking down finances and letting people know how he's spending his money transparency is achieved also
don't forget to say thank you don't only think your core contributors thank everyone who contributed there so many ways you can do that you can send people cards you can do happiness packages you can do shout out on Twitter you can send them special stickers all of us will stickers and now you can think people in the release notes and we often tend to think code contributors and I release notes but we don't think people who do marketing or articulatory ochre documentation so we me next time you have a big released and those people in the release notes as well it's such a small thing to do but it has such a great impact on those people and their work and effort matter as much as those people who contribute code the which leads me
to the next point documentation as important marketing is important small but fixes are important the important operate operational work is important I guess that there's so many components of an open source project that we take for granted that really matter and let's walk through all of them real quick the without documentation no 1 would know how to use your projects and you may think that I'm exaggerating and but think about it but there is no installation documentation really any can documentation the only person who knows how to use your project is you or maybe a couple of other contributors who have contributed a lot of code and and I don't know about you but if I stumble across a project i wanna try out by the documentation sucks then I will move on to a different project after 30 minutes because I will get frustrated just don't want put the time into it if people don't put the time into documentation and why would I put my time into contributing to the project even using the project the the and it sometimes a picture is worth so much more than a thousand words so consider putting pictures and screenshot and documentation meet and greet me maybe even in death and I don't mean like those funny gives that gives them you're writing code in your console can be really helpful especially for people just getting started and very visual learners I always appreciate any pictures on if a project is and well documented standard way may as well not exist as an open source project maintained and you can really Steria contributors towards supplementation you can say hey if you wanna submit patch I need documentation to come with that of the test and then I won't accept the patch or and you can encourage your contributors to write the documentation 1st and really think about the future is I'm and how to implement them and then write the code and the next step like a documentation driven approach to coding the next was marketing without
marketing no 1 would know about your project and How did all of you find out about jingle con the was a Twitter mailing list you just knew about it so likely found out about it because there's marketing has Rebecca communications chair but a lot of work into Twitter and the same thing happened for an open source project your open source project needs the website that and well designed and easy to navigate at not clouded your project needs an active Twitter Konya project needs the mailing list your project needs a blog and and I don't know if you ever run a social media account but it's a lot of work he needs to figure out what you put into 140 character limit that's informative but also funny nature and use the right has tax you need to tweak at the right time to reach all the different time zones so it's really nice easy job sometimes people think that people who work on social media they just play all day but it's really hard work and the project needs people to evangelize if you've ever prepared a conference talk you know that it's a lot of work and it's likely that you won't be able to attend all the conferences you would like to see you need other people help with that you need people to help you with Sprint organization promotions friends are so important for open source projects and I don't know if you've heard of the you where project by Russell chief the data really awesome job at spreads Russell gives away those Challenge coins which everyone gets that makes their 1st contribution to be where I'm sure they'll be doing that again today and understand Friday so you will see people walking around with challenge cleanser you'll see them tweet about them I I can highly encourage you to contribute to be where talk to Russell or Philip who's sitting right there and contributes to be where or Kadima glove land and find out more about you where Annex we have taken triage if there weren't people who worked on Tikrit take a triage and bouts wouldn't get fixed an art it would take significantly longer to get need to be assessed in order and according to urgency and difficulty they need to be assigned labels and oftentimes you also need to communicate with the people who create the ticket and clarify what exactly they meant what other problems and need to be reviewed reproduced and and so on also as an open source project maintainer when it comes to take a to say no a lot actually you need to say no more than you need to say yes I when you need is when you see a new issue and you already know that you will be working on it in the next 6 to 12 months then it's sometimes better to say hey thank you for this take that I appreciated it's an interesting issue but is not a priority for me right now and you may think this is route but if you have issues sitting in your debt have repository the years old and people will thinking that you just don't care so sometimes it's better to put up front what you want it's when you wanna close this issue and just communicate well with people and also you don't wanna clutter up your difference repository which a bunch of issues which you think are not necessary so the close their market something that you don't have time to work on personally and but you would appreciated patch then ask the person to make a pull request and but still bit different and but again if you know that you won't be working on fixing about in the next 6 to 12 months that may be close the issue and documented as the known limitation rather than keeping it open for forever and in general you should treat issues and pull request like a conversation with the I the can pursue a really good
article and sustainable resource management it's a really quick 5 minute read I can highly recommend that you go and read it and don't worry about writing down the link right now I'm going to between out the link to my slides after my talk and as you heard me talking
about open source projects may have noticed that I never talked about people during this alone I always talked about groups of people or commune whole communities of people nobody 60 alone if you think about your own and coding journey you probably happen and torus probably had people who helped you coworkers friends and you didn't do this all alone most likely an open source project there also to human community efforts and you certainly can't do this all by yourself better 1 recommended because it's not very sustainable and it's likely that you will bring out at some point community is key like I said I need a lot of people about Django love the community I'm here for the community I haven't touched gender coat and probably a whole year or longer Alan and community as work you need people to cultivate new contributors you need to establish and maintain communication channels without a good community your project won't be successful so you really need to figure out how to nurture your community because most likely your contributions will come out of the community and people will only contributed the feel and accept there and appreciated and like they're getting something out of this and you may have heard that
cannons famous co quote I came for the language state for the community he said there is about the Python community i'd like this that feel that way about the general community and know that a lot of you do as well when it comes down to is always the community among the top community we also need to
talk about diversity because diversity matters jingle kind other conferences put a lot of work into diversity we have a dedicated procedure which is me I'm type that has a diversity chair other conferences to west well your project will never reach its full potential if you don't have a diverse set of of contributors and with diversity and the more than just women I mean people of different ethnicities people of different age groups people of different sexual orientations people at different educational backgrounds and people different skill levels and expertise an open source projects in the contributions of all from people of all skill levels and expertise you don't only need the experienced coders if we keep only nurturing those people who owe already superstar coders that 1 time those people will go away but we don't have a 2nd generation you can have after that and so if you think it's a waste of time to mentor people it's really not because your nurturing the next generation who at 1 point book that will maintain your open source project and I'll give you another example the put people write the docks usually other people who use the coat the mobile standard most familiar with that this oftentimes leads to dark skin written on a very high level which means that a beginner coder intermediate coder might not be able to understand it or someone coming from a different language may not be able to understand it and if people at this level don't understand your documentation then you need to go and fix it that and if you wrote the documentation yourself then it's likely that your blind to these other people who are having issues with it's the people of different skill levels and expertise to go and richer documentation and tell you how you can improve upon it then even if you don't write code aren't technical you can still contribute and I spend a lot of time talking about how open source projects consist of so much more than code all of us have different talents and some of those really good event organizers of the summer of love social media like I said I haven't touching code and long time but I'm really passionate about diversity works are help as the diversity chair and the 2 other examples and actually McNamara's begin they go community and she she is but she's also very talented artist and she created a website called go as me where you can create a gopher version of yourself I would highly I would recommend that you try it out it's really cute and she also created these stickers all those love stickers them but not a lot of us have a talent to design stickers so this is the talent she had what she brought into the community which has nothing to do with code state but which was still important if you know a general 0 she's not here right now which is flying in tomorrow and age in low used to be a chef before she became a programmer and she tends to bring cookies at conferences that everyone loves cookies and Adrian likes to bake the input to the system brings those cookies and they have nothing to do with programming that the community loves them and so I'm going to tackle water break for 30 seconds and I would like all of you to write down my talent that you have that has nothing to do with coding which you could use to bring into our community just 1 some people think
that you have to submit code that a patch of 50 to 100 lines of code for it to matter and that's not wrong my 1st an open contribution was going through the jingles tutorial and correcting grammatical mistakes and some other little language mistakes you may think that didn't matter but actually did because it made the Detroit easier to read for others so you don't have to contribute whole patches of code in order to make a difference in order to be able to and contribute to open source as an open source project maintainer you need to be aware that put in your eat me that you're open to new contributors that you're open to first-time contributors create first-timers only labels and re and label your issues according to difficulties of people can pick them let us difficult ones if you if their contribution for the 1st time also put in your contact information so people can reach out to you offer mentorship forging a kind we have a speaker mentor program and you may have noticed that we have on eve that we already have that we almost have 50 per cent women speakers which is really also an attribute a lot of that success to our mentorship program and mentorship really matters and as an open-source maintainer after contributors that they want to be men tossed your mentor is to me to be their birth because some women only want to be a man to attract other women so you need to have a different set of men words that also and matches your set of contributors page word give more than you receive it's most likely that all of you received some help a mentorship so pay it forward and help other people I give the whole talk and
mentorship and is a video which you can find here and also as transcript which you can find and if you have any questions about mentorship LR OpenThesaurus LB around and I will love to chat about it if the as an open source project maintainer for looking for new contributors look among the users because it's likely that those people and use your project and 1 to get back and learn more about it but also if you're looking to make your 1st open source contribution there were a couple people here have made an open source contribution that look at the projects that you already use don't look super far just look at something that you use that you like and see how you can get involved like is that my 1st contribution I made to the jingle tutorial because I was heavily involved as a jingle goes organizer so it makes sense the last but not least your project needs a code of conduct and you may think the project as need color color because all the contributors are super nice and they may be but project still needs the code of conduct and be prepared to make sure that your project is a safe place for everyone to contribute and you may actually lose a couple of contributors or potential contributors of your project does not have a code of conduct because she some people warned contributed there's no C but a code of conduct only matters only is also needs to be reinforced if you have a Suceava but you don't do anything about it when people complain that it's really kind of useless you need to be willing to call people out for bad behavior don't let to trolls wind ancestor remain gave a really good talk about code of conduct just before lunch if you didn't catch their talk I can highly recommend that you go and watch it I know there are also happy to chat with you about code of conduct so and so other people imaging of the of the communities that are here and yeah if your project does
not have a code of conduct please do me a favor and implement 1 today you don't need to write your own colony it ain't she did so for you and it's called the contributor covenant and it's online and it's free and it's available for you to use it's been implemented into thousands of open source project and it's been translated into many different languages and and if you do you implement a code of conduct please tweet me I would love to hear about it and 1 more thing like a
set and the co-organizer for Kennedy's remote we're always full of looking for new teachers and if you're interested in teaching a class where the classes are taught as remote online screencasts they range from an hour to 3 hours and it's pretty cool because you can wear your just and 1 can conceived and it doesn't have to do anything with Python anything tech-related where as if they're open to and top they reach out to other remote attire ladies . com and we also have a website which all with all of our previous class is the work that is currently downwards bring some issues with her roku if any of you would like to help me bring back the web site and during the spread I love to have a love of help with that and you can also follow us on Twitter and next class August 26 Katie will be talking about collaboration and code review and get have Katie is also giving a talk about the same topic today at 5 PM non shift from you can and also brought some stickers of this logo and then rainbow OK ladies stickers from Python with me so the lakers sticker please go back and do not taught as a love to give 1 to you and that's all I have for you today and also at a time so thank you so much for being here and listening at risk but this
Nietzsche's uh are