Recently, three esteemed members of VMware’s global team sat down with Alex Williams from The New Stack to talk about their varied paths to becoming open source project maintainers. In Bots, Emojis and Open Source Maintainers — How People and Tools Make the Difference, Dawn Foster (@geekygirldawn), Nikhita Raghunath (@thenikhita) and Michael Klishin (@michaelklishin) share their experiences and offer insights into how the community continues to blossom. While the podcast is chock full of interesting conversation, our favorite takeaways are as follows:
Leadership within the open source community is available to anyone who is interested in working with contributors and learning from mentors.
Foundations in the industry have greatly helped in creating neutrality for the collective. They have also improved the standards for conduct within projects. Maintaining the relationships and the dignity of all contributors is even more valuable than maintaining the projects.
Establishing a disciplined practice of setting healthy work boundaries is best for you personally, for the project you support and allows others within the project to practice leadership skills in your absence. Dawn reminds us that if you think you are the most important person on any given project, “you haven’t spent enough time mentoring others.”
Steering committees on projects have been established to help onramp more a diverse group of developers. Creating more opportunity through internships, speaking engagements and mentorships is now a focus. Part of that task is simply making the language more inclusive.
Give the podcast a listen and tell us where you have recently seen the most important growth within the open source community.