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Introducing the Accidental Maintainer Series

Alyssa Arvin
Oct 06 - 2 min read

At the beginning of 2020, we had a grand vision to host a conference that focused on accidental open source maintainers who found themselves making difficult decisions in unfamiliar territory. These are the people who, at first, were just solving an issue for themselves and wanted to share that solution by open sourcing their code, but suddenly found themselves receiving issues and pull requests, and learning to channel all this into a productive and healthy community on the fly. As the year and our plans evolved, both by choice and by necessity, we decided to make content the centerpiece instead of conference-style experience.

So, today, I’m very happy to finally introduce: the Accidental Maintainer Series!

We will be focusing on a range of topics that open source project maintainers run into and interviewing a handful of maintainers on each. We’ll share the lessons they’ve learned, how they approach these challenges, and additional resources for learning more. Below are the topics we’ve already identified, but we want this to be a resource for you! If you have a topic that would be helpful to maintainers please message us on Twitter at @SalesforceEng.

Let’s Talk Governance

We will be kicking off the Accidental Maintainer series tomorrow with an exploration of project governance. We interviewed Jacob Kaplan-Moss about DjangoCarol Willing about Python, and Kinnaird McQuade about Cloudsplaining and Policy Sentry.

We will discuss the types of governance, how and when maintainers make changes, and how governance affects their community. Keep an eye out for the blog that we will be posting on October 7!

Upcoming Topics

  • How to build an inclusive, welcoming community around a new open source project
  • Why, how, and when to transfer your project to a foundation
  • How to handle your project’s maintainer leaving the company (even if that maintainer is you!)
  • How to gracefully deprecate your open source project

Follow @SalesforceEng on Twitter to make sure you don’t miss a post as we publish them! And, please, let us know if you have a topic suggestion or a project you’d like us to interview for one of the topics above.

Read the other posts in our Accidental Maintainers series:

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