Training Maintainers

Is not just help others to help you, is a matter of responsibility with Open Source Community. Your life have wonders and should change for better, so you will be lost opportunities or simple can’t work on your favorite open source project. Prepare your self to be a maintainer professor, change your mind for the beginning and help others, that is also a great contribution to open source software.

Be kind. Your potential contributors will take over when required. Making sure they have the abilities and use best practices in the project, is not just good for your project, is good for all others out there; they will use them to help other projects.

I suggest help others in each step they take to help, like:

  1. Take care about your words. Words are powerful and will invite or reject potential helpers.
  2. Help others to find resources on how write good issue reports, like the one in BSD.
  3. Say thanks! your contributors will, even the ones not providing any useful information or code, take the time to use or read your project’s code, so they expend time, a valuable time.
  4. Take the time to train your potential contributors, they will take compromise quickly if you are the maintainer and you help them; yes the time will never enough, but that is an inversion for the future.

If you want to be a maintainer, start by helping open source projects. There are a set of online resources you can use to make you better as a contributor and maintain your own software or take over the maintainership of your favorite software:

  1. Fundamentals of Professional Open Source Management
  2. Open Source Maintainer

Also, you can read Georges Stavracas’ experience on On Being a Free Software Maintainer, as an inspiration.


Author: despinosa

Linux and GNOME user, full time, since 2001. Actual maintainer of GXml and contributor to other projects mainly on GObject Introspection support.

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