Mike McQuaid mikemcquaid.com

"This is why people don’t contribute to your open source project"

Do you want more contributors and maintainers on your project? Mike McQuaid, maintainer of Homebrew (macOS package manager), writes on his personal blog:

Here are a a few guidelines in thinking about this:

  • Most contributors were users first (“scratching your own itch”: most people start contributing to an open source project to solve a problem they are experiencing)
  • Most maintainers were a contributor and user first (people don’t just jump into maintaining a project without helping to build it first)
  • Maintainers cannot do a good job without remaining a user (to maintain context, passion and empathy)

Combined, these start to look a bit like a sales funnel. People have to travel through each stage and there’s a fairly hefty drop-off at each one.

Also check out ~> Open source maintainers owe you nothing

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