An open-source adventure for gophers

Carolyn Van Slyck

Young octocat in swimming floaties
I have altered the scope... pray that I don't alter it further - Darth Vadar

My Background

Either way, this is close enough and has gone on way too long. It's time to merge. - Gopher in sunglasses

Your Background

I don't know why everyone is collaborating... and at this point I'm afraid to ask - Andy Dwyer

Why do you want to do open source?

Will contributing to open source ...

  • help me land a job?
  • help me keep my job?
  • be a good learning opportunity?
  • make me internet famous?
  • provide security for my career?

Is anything with a permissive license open source?


a.k.a "source code available"

Personal Projects

Community Projects

Why I choose open source

Why I joined a community

Why Open Source: Take 2

  • Impact
  • Remote Friendly
  • Portable Network
  • ❤️ Community ❤️

Why You May Not Enjoy Open Source

  • Politics
  • Velocity
  • Domain
  • Scarcity
  • Personality

My Little Cluster Story

Five Intel NUC computers with My Little Ponies on each one

Contribute - Code

  • Bug Fixes
  • Features
  • Build Work
    • Bumping dependency versions
    • Improving local developer experience
    • CI - Code linters
    • CI - Windows

Contribute - Test

  • Test coverage
  • Integration / End-to-End tests
  • Testability

Contribute - Doc

  • Getting Started
  • Core Concepts
  • Configuration
  • Troubleshooting
  • Meta (contributing, CoC, reviewing, issue templates)
  • Website Framework/Build
  • Website Design
  • Inline comments/doc
  • Answered questions -> FAQ

Contribute - Project Management

  • Attend community meetings
  • Taking notes, recordings
  • Labeling issues
  • Closing stale issues or fixed issues
  • Tracking milestones
  • Putting together releases

Contribute - Help

  • Reading issues as they come and commenting where you can
  • Answering questions
  • Find gaps in the doc
  • Identifying duplicates, related questions or previous answers
  • Reproduce a bug report
  • Trying out fixes
  • Chatting with people on slack, helping other users
  • Providing feedback on design proposals
  • Ask clarifying questions on a code review
  • Experience reports

Contribution Ladder

Cat on a ladder

Reasons to Pick a Project

  • You use it
  • You are learning it
  • You need to fix it
  • You want to influence it


Cat peeping into a window

Your First PR

Happy kitten is happy

Your First PR ... Day 2

Nope - Grumpy Cat

Casual Contributor

Maru the cat, upside down in a box


Two cats in a box together


Cat with his mouth full of cheeseburger

Climbing Back Down the Ladder

Cat looking down, stuck up somewhere high

The Crushing Guilt

Whether things are good or bad or you're simply eating tacos in the park, there is always the crushing guilt. - Jack Donaghy

(Re)set Your Expectations

What is "Normal"?

Asking for Help

Kitty begging

Kind Code Reviews

Judgemental cat is judging you

Time Distortion Fields

cat with steam punk goggles

People are hard

Build Trust

The Art of the Follow-on PR

Remember Your Goals

Check Your Ego

Seek Compromise...

... Know Your Boundaries


Next Steps

Community with cute gophers

Thank you


Slides @