Don't Go It Alone: Recruiting Contributors For Passion Projects

You made a passion project and the seemingly impossible happened: people use it! A lot! And now you’re overwhelmed as the only maintainer. This talk will walk you through how to ask for help in a structured way that protects your project while empowering others to help it succeed.

The success of launching a popular package, IDE extension or developer tool is complemented by the dread of maintaining it for 1,000s of people. How do you find people who can help? Are you prepared to let them help? I want to walk you through a collection of mental tricks to prepare yourself to let others help you as well as the tools GitHub provides you to let people have access to help. We will cover:

  • How to Ask for Help - from the basics of how to reach out when in need to the more advanced social psychology tricks of asking people to help you help them
  • How to Setup Your Repo - given that 99% of this code is on GitHub, we will focus on having the right documentation for contributors, permissions configuration and protections in place to keep your project moving forward with many hands helping to make for light work
  • How to Recognize All Contributions - we’ll discuss the All Contributors project and go through an example of using it to allow all types of contribution to your project’s success

You will leave this session with a strong grasp of some recommended practices to enable contribution and the reassurance that you don’t have to go it alone as a maintainer.