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Flourishing FLOSS: Making Your Project Successful

Flourishing FLOSS: Making Your Project Successful

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.


Anna Ossowski

May 05, 2018


  1. None
  2. About me...

  3. Flourishing FLOSS: Making Your Project Successful Anna Ossowski PyCon US

    2018 @OssAnna16
  4. @OssAnna16 Meet *All emojis by emojione.com Grace Ada &

  5. all@company.com Open Source Funding Program Hi all, We are so

    excited to announce our new Open source funding program. @OssAnna16 ceo@company.com
  6. @OssAnna16

  7. @OssAnna16 Open source code is: • Publicly accessible • Reusable

    (depending on the license) • Modifiable (depending on the license)
  8. Open Source Project Code Community Funding Docs Ticket triage Marketing

    Etc. @OssAnna16
  9. @OssAnna16

  10. Give back Give forward @OssAnna16

  11. @OssAnna16

  12. @OssAnna16

  13. @OssAnna16

  14. @OssAnna16

  15. @OssAnna16

  16. @OssAnna16 Engage with people via the means they use to

    engage with you.
  17. But no one has ever thanked me... @OssAnna16

  18. @OssAnna16 happinesspackets.io

  19. “I’m having trouble installing your software…” @OssAnna16

  20. @OssAnna16 Step 1: Run this command. Step 2: Magic happening

    in between. Step 3: The software should work now.
  21. @OssAnna16

  22. @OssAnna16 Most people figure it out on their own… The

    docs make sense to me...
  23. Ask them to help you improve the docs. @OssAnna16

  24. But this person is a beginner... @OssAnna16

  25. Open source projects need contributions from people of all skill

    levels and expertise. @OssAnna16
  26. firstpr.me @OssAnna16

  27. But I don’t have time… And I’m not qualified enough

    to mentor someone... @OssAnna16
  28. Pay it forward! Helping someone succeed is the best feeling

    in the world! @OssAnna16
  29. @OssAnna16 I’m excited to become a mentor!

  30. I wish my project had more contributors... @OssAnna16

  31. @OssAnna16 Give people incentives!

  32. But I tweet about my project sometimes... @OssAnna16

  33. Your project needs: • A website, including a blog •

    An active Twitter account • A mailing list • People to evangelize @OssAnna16
  34. But I’m not good at social media... @OssAnna16

  35. Contributions to Open source don’t have to involve code. Everyone

    has different talents. @OssAnna16
  36. @OssAnna16 Write down one individual talent (other than coding), which

    you can use to contribute to Open source.
  37. @OssAnna16 Diversity of contributors matters!

  38. @OssAnna16 I don’t know what tasks to assign to people

    when they offer to help...
  39. @OssAnna16 Assign roles. Give people ownership.

  40. I struggle with ticket triage. I never know which issues

    are important. @OssAnna16
  41. Close issues you won’t be working on in the next

    6 months. Close bugs as “known limitations” and document them. @OssAnna16
  42. I don’t do the best job engaging with people... @OssAnna16

  43. “Came for the language, stayed for the community.” - Brett

    Cannon @OssAnna16
  44. My project doesn’t need a Code of Conduct. Everyone is

    always nice. @OssAnna16
  45. Your project needs a Code of Conduct. And you need

    to be willing to enforce it. contributor-covenant.org @OssAnna16
  46. @OssAnna16 • Listen to your contributors. Be responsive. • Offer

    your financial supporters something valuable in return.
  47. @OssAnna16 • Establish good communication systems. • Thank *all* contributors

    of your project.
  48. @OssAnna16 • Write thorough documentation, including screenshots and gifs. •

    Acknowledge all contributions as equally important.
  49. @OssAnna16 • Find contributors of all skill levels and expertise.

    • Offer mentorship!
  50. @OssAnna16 • Provide contribution incentives. • Work on marketing: Website

    + blog, active Twitter account, mailing list, evangelism.
  51. @OssAnna16 • Recognize the importance of diversity of contributors and

    talents. • Give contributors ownership.
  52. @OssAnna16 • Learn to say no to bugs and issues

    you won’t fix in the next 6 months. Document them. • Nurture your community.
  53. @OssAnna16 • Add a Code of Conduct and be willing

    to enforce it!
  54. & = @OssAnna16

  55. In a world where you can be anything, be kind.

  56. remote.pyladies.com @PyLadiesRemote @OssAnna16

  57. Thank you! @OssAnna16