Listening to the Needs of Your Global Open Source Community

Presented by Elizabeth K. Joseph
Wednesday 10:40 a.m.–11:25 a.m.
Target audience: Community


When open source projects are small it's easy to work directly with your contributors to make sure that you're serving their needs, but what happens when the project gets larger? It's really easy to assume nothing is wrong when contributors aren't communicating with the project leadership or infrastructure team about what they’re struggling with, but it's rarely the case that contributing is a smooth process.

Drawing from experience in the Ubuntu and OpenStack communities, this talk will explore some of the ways large projects have worked to identify pain points for their contributors and then address them.

Case studies include:

  • Institution of regular check-ins with core teams in the Ubuntu project.
  • Discussions with the OpenStack QA team about workarounds they were doing to scour job logs, and the subsequent implementation of the ELK (Elasticsearch, Logstash and Kabana) stack.
  • Work with the i18n team in OpenStack to provide a new translations platform.

From these case studies and more we'll explore how to get into contact with contributors, reading between the lines in mailing list posts to learn where people are struggling and working to make your project a comfortable place where contributors know they can ask for assistance.

Presented by

Elizabeth K. Joseph

Most recently, Elizabeth K. Joseph spent four years working as an Senior Systems Engineer on the OpenStack project Infrastructure team.

She is the author of Common OpenStack Deployments and The Official Ubuntu Book, 8th and 9th Editions. She’s been a volunteer contributor on the Xubuntu project for over five years and spent six years on the Ubuntu Community Council.

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