Community over code: building successful open source projects

March 18, 2021

Author Matthew Revell

Founder of Hoopy, the developer relations consultancy. Need help with your developer relations? Get in touch.

The open source model might appear to some companies to be a quick and low cost route to awareness and adoption. However, done properly, an open source community requires planning, funding, and the balancing of the community’s needs versus those of the sponsoring company.

In this talk, Denis Magda draws parallels between the growth of a human being and the growth of a open source community. At each stage — from infancy to maturity — the needs of a community evolve, as does the relationship between the sponsor and the project.

Denis reviews how the “Community over Code” principle of the Apache Software Foundation informs the life of its 350 projects. He also examines how to integrate an engineering group into an open-source process and, simultaneously, stay focused on contributions to code, documentation, and end-user support. He then moves on to discuss how to retain core community members and to build bridges between contributing vendors.