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Embracing Openness in Open Source (FullStack Conf Skills Matter 2019)

Embracing Openness in Open Source (FullStack Conf Skills Matter 2019)

This is the story of how I struggled to get my first tech role and turned to Open Source projects looking for help. We’ll learn how the best GitHub repos are attracting new contributors, why developers early in their coding journey can struggle to get to grips with a new repo and how you avoid these stumbling blocks to create a vibrant open source project.


Amina Adewusi

November 15, 2019


  1. Embracing Openness in Open Source Amina Adewusi FullStackConf 2019

  2. Hi, I’m Amina

  3. None
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  7. Classical music & FOSS?

  8. 2018 GitHub contributions First PR!

  9. @MikeMcQuaid’s contributor funnel

  10. 95% male GitHub 2018 Octoverse 92% male Stack Overflow 2019

    https://octoverse.github.com/ https://insights.stackoverflow.com/survey/2019
  11. Documentation & Friendliness

  12. ? Under-represented groups / First-time contributors /Non - contributors

  13. Language at critical points in the first-timer user journey

  14. None
  15. https://code.publiclab.org/#r=all

  16. https://github.com/publiclab/plots2

  17. https://github.com/rubyforgood/diaper/blob/master/CONTRIBUTING.md

  18. https://github.com/remoteintech/remote-jobs/pull/483#issuecomment-430301574

  19. https://github.com/londontechmeetups/londontechmeetups.github.io/pull/9

  20. Automated tools

  21. https://publiclab.org/notes/warren/03-22-2018/libreplanet-talk-sharing-strategies-for-welcoming-newcomers-into-floss-projects-first-timers-only-list-moderation- and-more

  22. First-timer only issues

  23. https://github.com/rubyforgood/diaper/issues?q=is%3Aopen+is%3Aissue+label%3A%22Good+First+Issue%22

  24. https://github.com/publiclab/plots2/issues/5795

  25. Contribution policies

  26. Human contact

  27. Summary • Language • Issues • Contribution policies • Public

  28. “I’ve already told my partner that, if and when we

    decide to start having kids, I will probably quit open source for good.” Nolan Lawson https://nolanlawson.com/2017/03/05/what-it-feels-like-to-be-an-open-source-maintainer/
  29. “...too often people feel unwelcome, unheard, and unable to help

    or to find help, particularly women, people of color, and other underrepresented groups. This has to change, and it starts with us...So in 2019 we’re going to be redoubling our efforts” David Fullerton, Stack Overflow President and Chief Technology Officer https://stackoverflow.blog/2019/01/18/state-of-the-stack-2019-a-year-in-review/?_ga=2.265385423.1553455204.1561780259-235477409.1533927163
  30. Appendices 1. Guides to creating repos open to first-timers 2.

    Repos celebrated for welcoming first-timers 3. Support for people new to open source 4. Research on open source participation 5. Articles on the challenges of being an active contributor and maintainer
  31. Thank you • Global CFP Day • Daniel Appelquist, Samsung

    Developer Advocate & W3C committee member • Eddie Jaoude, Open Source Advocate • Jeffrey Warren, Publiclabs • Joe Nash, ex GitHub • Bryan Warren and Anna Filippova, GitHub • Mikeal Rogers and Rich Trott, Node.js Foundation • Chase Southard, Director of Engineering at Xometry • Rob Whittaker, Director of Development at Thoughtbot London • Andra Georgescu, Senior Developer at Capital One • Chris Evans, CTO at Netwealth • Doug Aitken and James Nylen, maintainers of @remoteintech • Jenny Brennan, maintainer of London Tech Meetups • Ruby for Good • Codebar • Thoughtbot office hours • Code First Girls
  32. Happy to help! @a_adewusi

  33. Appendix

  34. Creating and contributing to OS repos • GitHub's open source

    guide • Mozilla science lab • OpenDemographics (Recommended diversity survey questions for communities) • Atom’s contributing.md with code of conduct, introduction to the application, contribution instructions, style guides and issue/PR labelling. • Open government’s contributing.md with lovely, warm and welcoming opening statements.
  35. Repos renowned for welcoming first-timers • GitHub showcase • First

    Timers Only • CodeTriage • 24 Pull Requests (begins 1 Dec 2019) • Up For Grabs • Issuehub • First Contributions • First timers only Twitter bot • Your first PR Twitter bot • Awesome First PR Opportunities • First timers only issues on GitHub search
  36. Support for code newbies interested in open source • Ruby

    together • Outreachy • Google summer of code (for university students) • Rails Girls Summer of Code (taking a break in 2019, but still listing projects seeking contributors here)
  37. Survey data • FLOSS 2013: A Survey Dataset about Free

    Software Contributors: Challenges for Curating, Sharing, and Combining (2013) • Stack Overflow’s annual Developer Survey (2019) • Mozilla community survey (2014) • GitHub Open Source Survey (2017) • GitHub Octoverse (2018)
  38. It’s not easy to contribute and maintain open source •

    Nolan Lawson (2017) - What it feels like to be an open source maintainer • Nadia Eghbal (2016) - Roads and Bridges: The Unseen Labor Behind Our Digital Infrastructure • Mikeal Rogers (2017) - Time to Leave • Michael Bromley (2016) - Why I haven’t fixed your issue yet • Jan Lehnardt (2017) - Sustainable Open Source: The Maintainers Perspective or: How I Learned to Stop Caring and Love Open Source