How to Open Source with Richard Schneeman (schneems)

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What do lurking and flossing have to do with contributing to open source? It's all about sustaining tiny habits. Learn how to use tiny habits to go from coder to contributor.
"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.

Episode Links

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

Creators and Guests

Stefanni Brasil
Stefanni Brasil
I like to be around people who are kind, curious and compassionate. Co-founder of hexdevs. Developer at Thoughtbot, and a core maintainer of faker-ruby. Public speaker, writer, podcast host, Ruby developer.
Thiago Araujo
Thiago Araujo
Co-founder of hexdevs: helping you become an expert developer.
Richard Schneeman
Richard Schneeman
Creator of, the best way to get started with Open Source. Author of the @HowToOpenSource book. Ruby core maintainer.
How to Open Source with Richard Schneeman (schneems)
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