Christian Vuerings

Managing an Open-source Project

September 23, 2011

As some of you may know, over the last couple of months I’ve been working & managing a project called jQuery Lifestream. It isn’t always that easy and there are just some of the things I’ve learned along the way.

###Market your product Most developers don’t do any marketing at all. We worry about the fact that we spam and people won’t be interested.

But if you don’t let other people know what you’re up to and show them how passionate you are, how will they ever want to join your project?

Open-source is all about collaboration, which in the end allows your project to adapt and improve. And that’s what really matters in the end.

###Be clear about your goals Each project should have a set of clear goals. Don’t be political about it, be upfront so everyone knows where the project is heading.

In some occasions people will be upset, because it doesn’t align with their goals. Don’t worry about them and don’t spend to much time arguing. If they do want to change the project, they can fork it and do their own thing.

###Be generous with praise When is the last time you said “Thank You” and really meant it?

Every time somebody commits time to an open-source project and does it for free, I just want to overwhelm them with praise & gratitude. They work on it because they want to, you can’t force them to do so, it has to come from themselves.

###Praise publicly Don’t only praise in private, let other people know about their efforts as well. In some occasions, if you do it in public, people are more willing to make further commitments to the project.