Takeaways from Navendu Pottekkat’s session on “Building Your Career in Open-Source” at Open Source India.
Have questions? Comment below or reach out to me at @sudo_navendu.
You can also checkout this Twitter thread for a quick summary of my talk.
♥️ Love Open-Source?— Navendu Pottekkat (@sudo_navendu) October 9, 2021
⚡️ Here is how you can build your Career in Open-Source.
🧵 A thread.
❗️ Everything mentioned here is from my experience as a noob coder to working in Open-Source full time.
From new programmer in January 2020 to Full-time Open-Source in March 2021.
- January 2020: Started learning to code full-time
- March - April 2020: Started open-sourcing personal projects
- August 2020: Built and scaled my first open-source project (Went on to get featured on Product Hunt and JS Weekly and got to #1 Trending on GitHub)
- September 2020: Featured project at TFUG India
- November 2020: Started contributing to Meshery
- March 2021: LFX Mentee at Meshery (Layer5)
- April 2021: Maintainer of Meshery
- May 2021: GSoC Mentor at CNCF for Meshery
- June 2021: Maintainer of Service Mesh Performance
- July 2021: Full-time employee at Layer5
- September 2021: LFX Mentor for CNCF
Getting Started in Open-Source
- Learn a skill or explore different area until you find what you want to skill up on
- Make your personal projects open-source even if it may not get wide adoption
- Learn Git and GitHub (see resources)
- Learn things in public
Building and Scaling Your Own Open-Source Projects
- Solve your problem; It is likely that others face the same problem too
- Use social media liberally to scale up your projects
- Leverage successful open-source business models (see resources)
Making Your First Contribution
- Find the projects you are interested in (see resources)
- Learn the skills needed to contribute
- Join the community of the project
- Read the contributing guidelines
- Grab a “good first issue” and fix it
- Writing: Articles, social media content, documentation
- Designing: Artworks for social media, creating style guides
- Testing/Using: Reporting bugs, advocacy, improving UX, alpha/beta testing
- Mentoring: Reviewing code, mentoring a contributor
- Community Managing/Organizing: Being a project manager, being a release manager, organizing events and meetups, helping onboard new Contributors
- Find more ways to contribute
- Do what a maintainer is expected to do even if you aren’t a maintainer
- Pay it forward
- Get an internship/paid mentorship (See resources)
- Get a full-time role
- GitHub Sponsors, Patreon, Open Collective
- Apply for open-source grants
- Donating the project to a foundation
- Tidelift 2021 Open Source Maintainer Survey
- Linux Foundation Jobs Report 2021
- MLH Bi-Annual Census (Spring 2021)
Tutorials/ Additional Reading
- Git for Professionals Tutorial - Tools & Concepts for Mastering Version Control with Git
- Git and GitHub
- Complete Guide to Open Source - How to Contribute
- Why Open-Source - Twitter thread
- Starting an Open-Source Project
- How to Make Non-Code Contributions to Open-Source Projects
- 20+ Open Source Internship Programs that you can Apply to
- Tips to Make High-Quality Pull Requests - Twitter thread
- Tips to Make High-Quality Pull Requests - Blog post
- Business Models for Open-Source Software
- Getting Paid for Open-Source Work
- Finding Users for Your Project
- Open Source Metrics
- open-funding (Open-Source Grants)
If you liked the content of the session, follow me @sudo_navendu where I will be sharing more similar content.
More of my talks are in this playlist.