Enabling Open Source Contributors at Puppet

*
Accepted Session
Short Form
Beginner
Scheduled: Thursday, June 23, 2016 from 3:45 – 4:30pm in B301

Excerpt

As open source software developers and community maintainers, fostering an inclusive community and giving contributors the tools they need to succeed is incredibly important, but not always easy. This is especially true when you have a complex distributed codebase and contributors without a background in software development. Through our attempts to enable our contributors we’ve encountered many challenges and iterated on many solutions with varying levels of success. Our hope is that by sharing the stories of our successes and failures, as well as the lessons we learned, we can help other community maintainers lower the barrier to entry for contributors.

Description

A healthy and welcoming community is an essential piece of any open source software company. Fostering an environment that’s inclusive and built around empathy and transparency helps enable contributors of all skill levels, and maintainers play an essential role in ensuring that the community is healthy.

Managing open source contributions to Puppet can be a unique experience because we have a fairly complex codebase, and a lot people who want to contribute without a software development background. On top of that we have the distinction between puppet modules written in puppet code, and puppet itself. As developers on open source teams at puppet, part of our responsibility is helping community members make contributions in addition to our own development work. Along the way, we’ve faced many ongoing challenges around prioritizing community work and enabling contributors to be successful, which we have attempted to tackle in different ways:

  • Balancing community work with other priorities
    • Community rotation
    • Pulling more nebulous tickets into sprints
    • Delegating tickets to appropriate teams
  • Availability to support contributors in real-time
    • PR Triage
    • Active presence on mailing lists / IRC
  • Providing contributors with information they need to be successful
    • CONTRIBUTING, documentation
    • #puppethack ticket labeling

We’re hoping that by talking about some of our solutions and what has and hasn’t worked for us, attendees can walk away with ideas for how to help manage their own communities and lower the barrier to entry for contributors.

Tags

community, community management, community contributions

Speaking experience

Hailee has spoken at PuppetConf 2012, PuppetConf 2013 and the PuppetConf 2015 Contributor's Summit about how to become an open source contributor to puppet. She has also given short talks at Django Girls, a PDX Women in Tech event, and the Portland Puppet User Group.

Morgan has given presentations at PuppetConf 2014, ConfigMgmtCamp 2015, PuppetConf contributor summit 2015, and an internal speaker workshop.

Speakers

  • Img 2301

    Hailee Kenney

    Puppet

    Biography

    Hailee interned at Puppet when she was in college and joined full time after she graduated with a degree in Electrical Engineering in Spring 2014. She has worked on various development teams at Puppet, all focusing on the open source core components of puppet. She’s passionate about open source software and likes sharing that passion with others. Outside of work she loves video games, tabletop games, bubble tea, and enjoying the outdoors. She also likes spending time with her cats Tali and Atton.

    Sessions

      • Title: Enabling Open Source Contributors at Puppet
      • Track: Culture
      • Room: B301
      • Time: 3:454:30pm
      • Excerpt:

        As open source software developers and community maintainers, fostering an inclusive community and giving contributors the tools they need to succeed is incredibly important, but not always easy. This is especially true when you have a complex distributed codebase and contributors without a background in software development. Through our attempts to enable our contributors we’ve encountered many challenges and iterated on many solutions with varying levels of success. Our hope is that by sharing the stories of our successes and failures, as well as the lessons we learned, we can help other community maintainers lower the barrier to entry for contributors.

      • Speakers: Hailee Kenney, Morgan Rhodes
  • Morgan rhodes

    Morgan Rhodes

    Puppet

    Biography

    Morgan started working as a module engineer at Puppet in Spring of 2014 and joined the release engineering team in October 2015. Before that she had been part of the Puppet community for over four years, largely using Puppet as a system administrator. Outside of work, she can be found biking, cooking delicious vegan fare, curling like a boss (or Canadian), and hanging out with her cats.

    Morgan has given presentations at PuppetConf 2014, ConfigMgmtCamp 2015, PuppetConf contributor summit 2015, and an internal speaker workshop.

    Sessions

      • Title: Enabling Open Source Contributors at Puppet
      • Track: Culture
      • Room: B301
      • Time: 3:454:30pm
      • Excerpt:

        As open source software developers and community maintainers, fostering an inclusive community and giving contributors the tools they need to succeed is incredibly important, but not always easy. This is especially true when you have a complex distributed codebase and contributors without a background in software development. Through our attempts to enable our contributors we’ve encountered many challenges and iterated on many solutions with varying levels of success. Our hope is that by sharing the stories of our successes and failures, as well as the lessons we learned, we can help other community maintainers lower the barrier to entry for contributors.

      • Speakers: Hailee Kenney, Morgan Rhodes

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