Maintainer guides: spending, succession, & more
Hi, newsletter subscribers! Thanks for being interested in Changeset Consulting and my open source project management work, including the book I’m working on. In this edition I’ll share new maintainer skills guides and other recent writing, and link to useful tools and resources. (If you have trouble getting the hyperlinks, view as HTML or use the archived version on the web at https://buttondown.email/Changeset .)
I have some upcoming availability to give virtual talks (including stand-up comedy) and to coach open source maintainers, leads, and managers. Questions I have helped people with include:
Why did this initiative go awry and how do I move forward?
Leaders in our open source project have a technical disagreement and are tough to talk with; can I lead us forward, and how?
What can I do to help the new team members onboard better than I did?
We're holding an onsite where a distributed team will get to work together; what schedule will make the best use of that time?
What am I looking for next in my career, and how do I get there?
Key maintainer skills guides
Earlier this year I ran several maintainer skills workshops sponsored by Open Source Collective. I’ve developed six resource documents based on those sessions, which are all now live:
Recruiting Financial Sponsors: Inventory your potential donors and fundable tasks or chores, prepare your requests and update your website and documentation to ensure you look credible, make the request, and follow up on responses.
Deciding How To Use Your Project's Money: When should you spend or save? What's on your project's roadmap, and how could you spend to support it?
Marketing, Publicity, Roadmaps, and Communications: Understand your audiences and what you need to tell them, how frequently, and why. Includes a template and schedule.
Growing Your Contributor Base: Retain your existing contributors by better understanding what they want and need. Recruit new contributors by easing their path to contribution and making it easy for them to find you and feel welcome.
Handling Burnout and Career Planning: Take a moment to imagine: what would a good departure look like for your involvement with your project? Includes concrete steps to help you plan succession, and a self-guided career planning exercise.
Promoting Maintainers and Handling Conflict: Address difficult issues, and recruit and promote maintainers in open source projects. Includes a self-guided exercise.
I'm planning to edit and reuse this material in my forthcoming book.
Advice and mourning
Other recent writing:
A transcript of my talk on "cadence shear" (how to manage different contribution rates in an open source project) from Upstream in June (video). This written version includes some topics I didn’t have time to address in the talk.
"I want to start contributing to open source": My (Current) Advice. Reflecting on your motivations, choosing projects to try, "DON'T start by trying to find a bug to fix," and other ways to set yourself up for success.
Mourning Marina Zhurakhinskaya, founder of Outreachy, who died in June.
And, from ten years ago: volunteers can help your project as a junior product manager, or "product adviser", and here's how.
Useful tools & resources
Otter Tech's Code of Conduct Incident Response Workshop has several upcoming dates.
ribbity - a hacky project to build Web sites from GitHub issue trackers could make it easier for you to show hospitality to your users who find GitHub intimidating.
Mozilla's new local machine translation add-on for Firefox is a privacy-respecting alternative to cloud services. Currently works with Spanish, French, German, and several other languages.
Best wishes, as always. If you’d like to ask for my work availability, or invite me to speak, please reply to this mail or contact me in the Fediverse – I’m on Mastodon as @email@example.com.
-Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset Consulting