Community Contributions to Open-Source Projects

Hugo Gruson

May 2022


These slides only serve as a starting point for the discussion.

All content is only based on my personal experience. Actual research has been conducted in this area and I should definitely spend more time reading it.

Why should we encourage community contributions?

  • social aspect: more motivation when part of a community
  • addition of diverse experience, skills and backgrounds ➔ larger chance to converge to the “optimal” solution
  • more contributors ➔ more time ➔ higher-quality code

Why should we contribute?

  • opportunity for new collaborations
  • save time for others (including your future self)

No magic formula

What motivates me to contribute to open-source?

Sense of duty / accomplishment

What discourages me to contribute to open-source?

  • Lack of explicit invitation to contribute
  • Lack of responsiveness / dead project
  • Technical hurdles (detailed after)

Technical hurdles

  • Lack of contributing documentation
  • High mental load: spambots, new tools, etc.

Sustaining engagement

  • Acknowledge contributors (making them co-authors or co-maintainers)