Henry's Zoo

Maintainers Anonymous

January 08, 2019 • 2 min read

Not a novel idea but wanted to bring it up: reach out if you’re interested!

I’d like to have more in-person discussions on the things we face while working in open source with other maintainers!

I know there’s so much we already say on various online channels (a lot happens on Twitter, Slack, Github) but I think there’s something to be said about an offline, consistent, local, more private gathering.

There’s both meetups and conferences for languages, companies, and libraries. Maybe we could have some for maintainers? Although maybe not one with speakers stressed out about preparing for their talks and hundreds of people. I know SustainOSS and Maintainerati were both well received; and having never gone to either it would be cool to do another one a more intimate scale! (don’t think we’d get hundreds of maintainers anyway)

I kinda just want to chat with some others in the same shoes, regardless if neither of us know the answers.. so a maintainer support group. (not to replace other communities like our workspaces, actual therapy, sports, church, etc but just a group who might have the same concerns, struggles, and issues)

Since there wouldn’t need to be talks; we just need an excuse to get together and talk, right? We could get problems people are interested to think through before each meeting (documented in a repo) and get into groups to discuss or just gather a few folks together a see what happens. Hopefully getting people in the same place who care about these issues can aid one another in dealing with the human side of open source or anything we’d want to chat about on the podcast I wrote about earlier.

And honestly it would just be nice to be able to know more of the maintainers in the area (I’m in NYC) and make connections across different projects. I’ve been way deep into JavaScript tooling land but I’m looking forward to learn from all kinds of maintainers (of any size, in different languages, working in various capacities) even if it’s not from a technical point of view. This open source community can be so much bigger than the individual projects we are a part of!

As for a space, we can reach out to various companies in the area that use open source to host? We could always use Babel’s Collective for funds as well. Or just chill out with some board games or dinner? Maybe we just need a hangout..

And per Brian’s suggestion, I setup a form that you can fill out if you’re a maintainer in the NYC area interested in doing something like this! (or you can DM me on Twitter)

And I was just chatting with Jason Laster about setting up a ping pong meetup. We could meet at tech companies (since they usually have them), have the entry fees be donated to OSS projects, and use the rest of the time by contributing to open source?


I know I didn’t need a whole post just to say I want to talk to other maintainers but here we are

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