Episode 104

Duane O’Brien and Mandy Grover on Investing in Open Source: The FOSS Contributor Fund


January 14th, 2022

40 mins 15 secs

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Special Guests

About this Episode


Duane O’Brien | Mandy Grover


Richard Littauer | Justin Dorfman | Ben Nichols

Show Notes

Hello and welcome to Sustain! The podcast where we talk about sustaining open source for the long haul. On today’s episode we have two excellent guests, Duane O’Brien and Mandy Grover. Duane is the Head of Open Source at Indeed and Mandy is a Technical Content Architect III, as well as manages a team within the Technical Content organization at Indeed. They are here to talk about the FOSS Fund and the recently released FOSS Fund report. Duane and Mandy go in detail on the report and expand on who it is for, how to use it, tools they used, and things they’ll be writing about in the second report. We also learn the ups and downs of writing, but more importantly how Duane and Mandy built their friendship and trust in the process of writing this report successfully. Go ahead and download this episode now to learn more!

[00:03:11] Mandy and Duane fill us in on the FOSS Fund report titled, Investing in Open Source: The FOSS Contributor Fund.

[00:04:57] We learn more about how the FOSS Contributor Fund started, what it is, and how the response has been so far.

[00:09:06] Justin wonders if Duane and Mandy ever thought this would become the blueprint, and then we hear the story how the Sentry thing came about.

[00:16:08] Learn about some new things coming out in the second report.

[00:19:24] Duane explains how you can still use this report even if your organization is not huge.

[00:20:56] Richard wonders if you were a coder, how could you make yourself more eligible to be a recipient of funds.

[00:24:19] Find out about a few of the tools they talk about in the report, one which is called Starfish.

[00:26:28] Mandy fills us in on how everything went when they released the report and how they set expectations with each other. Duane also brings up about asking maintainers to write things.

[00:33:54] Find out where you can find this report and where you can find Duane and Mandy online.


[00:13:56] “We had this moment where we were like, it’s certainly projects, it’s certainly money, it’s certainly all these things, but at the heart of it is people.”

[00:21:17] “The biggest problem that we don’t talk about is this: You are a single project in a sea of thousands that organizations may depend on.”

[00:26:48] “We set expectations early, we knew the goal, and we were always there supporting each other and holding each other accountable.”

[00:33:12] “Let’s temper our expectation of what we want maintainers to do when it comes to documenting things because it’s not easy.”


  • [00:35:15] Justin’s spotlight is Opensourcestories.org.
  • [00:35:35] Ben’s spotlights are 24 Pull Requests and The Good Docs Project.
  • [00:36:37] Richard’s spotlight is John Hill.
  • [00:37:08] Mandy’s spotlight is to watch all movies.
  • [00:38:29] Duane’s spotlight is the book, A Psalm for the Wild- Built by Becky Chambers.



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