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Secrets of a Successful Open Source Project


Open Source software is ubiquitous. It’s easy to put some of your code out on the Internet and start a project. However, the dream of getting hundreds or thousands of eager developers to help you out is not as easy as it seems. There is also a cost of time and energy to keep a project going – do you really want to maintain it for many months or years into the future?

Based on my experience with Satchmo, I’ll cover some of the things that have gone well and maybe a few things we could have done better.

Some of the topics I’ll cover include:

  • Deciding whether or not the world needs your project
  • Some of the initial decisions you’ll need to make before releasing a line of code
  • How to market and get people involved
  • How to encourage support and activity
  • Dealing with the volunteer nature of Open Source contributions
  • Tools for the Open Source community
  • Other tips and hints I’ve picked up along the way

This topic should be useful to anyone considering launching an Open Source project or even someone looking to get involved in an existing project.


Minnebar 5 (2010-05-22)


Chris Moffitt