Jun-05 16:00-16:30 in Melody

It takes a village to run an open source project successfully. A village is usually run by its citizens and governed by some elected officials. In open source we call the citizens “users” and the people in charge of a project “maintainers”. To understand the health and sustainability of a project we should take a closer look at the community and not necessarily the code in the first place.

To understand their demographics a village can run a census. Open source projects could run a community survey with questions targeting their needs. We ran a survey to identify the most used platforms and pressing issues our users encounter. Our community found some interesting insights about what our users currently like and dislike and why they might migrate to other solutions. I would like to share our survey results and conclusions to give you some ideas for running a survey for your project. With some data about the usage and common pain points the community can identify and address the most critical areas first and possibly make a big impact with reasonable effort. When user expectations and maintainer perceptions meet, the community can produce better software.

Governing a project also involves a lot of different tasks aside from writing code. Different people have different strengths and weaknesses and might prefer certain tasks to others. If you observe open source communities for a while you recognize certain people and find out which work they do and roles they fill in. I would like to share some common maintainer personas to give you an idea who is needed to run a project more smoothly.