Getting to 0.1.0: Build Management for Your Personal Project

Accepted Session
Short Form
Scheduled: Thursday, June 22, 2017 from 3:45 – 4:30pm in B201


There's a lot that goes into a great open-source repository besides the code. How do you make your project easy for a newcomer to understand? What about easy to install, to test, and to contribute to? Big projects have whole teams dedicated to building robust releases, but you're just a solo dev with a dream.

Great news! You don't have to put your project on hold to study build engineering. Come learn a few simple tools that will put some professional polish on your personal project.


You’re finally ready to share your cool new thing, but your non-programmer friends balk when asked to `git clone`. Someone reports a bug and you can’t reproduce it, but you’re not sure how much has changed since the version they downloaded. You keep seeing those spiffy badges announcing a project’s tests are passing, but you’re not sure how to get on one yours—and maybe you’re not sure how to get started writing tests in the first place.

Sound familiar? Great news! You don’t have to be a build engineer to ship well-organized releases. This talk is for anyone who publishes their own code and wants to make it more welcoming to users (and contributors!). We’ll start with the assumption that you already have or want to have a public project (for example, on Github), and talk about:

  • Building a better readme
  • Semantic versioning and changelogs
  • Install scripts
  • Continuous integration

Depending on audience interest, we may also cover:

  • Testing
  • Pull requests
  • Documentation

For each step, we’ll walk through an example project history and demonstrate tools you can use to make your own project more usable and inviting.


github, build engineering, semantic versioning, Continuous Integration, how-to

Speaking experience

I've spoken at Open Source Bridge 2015 about implementing gender-friendly user data collection, and at several bar camps (OSB 14, OSU's Beaver Bar Camp, PSU's CAT Bar Camp) on assorted other topics.


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    Finn is a student of linguistics and computer science at Portland State University, but most of what they know about effective software development comes from hobby projects and badgering off-duty professionals. They’ve spoken previously at OSB about how to implement gender-friendly user data interfaces.