How to Open Source with Richard Schneeman

What does lurking and flossing have to do with contributing to open source? It’s all about sustaining tiny habits.

Be a lurker and start small. Read a PR, try to understand what’s going on. Leave a thumbs up 👍 if you like it. This is a very easy way to get started. And build a habit out of that. – schneems

How to Open Source: Learn the secrets of successful contributors

Recently, Richard published the book “How to Open Source: Learn the secrets of successful contributors". The missing handbook will guide you from making your first contribution to building a sustainable practice.

Listen to and watch our conversation with Richard Schneeman (@schneems) about the book, and how to go from coder to contributor.

Apple Podcasts | Spotify

About our guest

Richard Schneeman (also known as “schneems”) is a Principal Engineer at Heroku (Salesforce). And:

Episode Notes

  • 00:00 Intro
  • 02:28 say hello to our cat, bob!
  • 03:25 what prevents developers from contributing to open source?
  • 04:58 the bystander effect
  • 06:42 not comfortable contributing to new repo
  • 08:30 be a lurker: read a PR and leave a thumbs up
  • 10:12 building tiny habits for Open Source
  • 11:19 do you really want to contribute to open source?
  • 13:53 If you contribute to Open Source, can you skip coding interviews?
  • 14:39 do you need a CS degree to contribute to Open Source?
  • 15:14 use a fake account or nickname on GitHub
  • 16:18 what prevents people from contributing more?
  • 17:52 how do you find time to contribute to open source?
  • 19:00 how to do open source work as part of my job?
  • 21:53 how do you find Open Source projects to contribute to?
  • 24:16 how to build a culture of open source at work?
  • 27:20 what is CodeTriage & how it works?
  • 28:56 writing the book How to Open Source
  • 30:07 tips for getting started with open source
  • 32:23 workarounds vs fixing bugs upstream
  • 34:10 can you get promoted by doing open source work?
  • 37:29 open source work and becoming Principal Engineer
  • 40:26 making mistakes in public
  • 41:57 merging the wrong commit in Ruby on Rails
  • 44:39 what if my Pull Request is rejected?
  • 50:00 how to build a contribution practice
  • 55:14 closing remarks

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