Episode 115

Emily Shaffer: Paid OSS Software Development on the Git project


April 1st, 2022

40 mins 42 secs

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Special Guest

About this Episode


Emily Shaffer


Richard Littauer | Eric Berry

Show Notes

Hello and welcome to Sustain! The podcast where we talk about sustaining open source for the long haul. Today, we’re going to have some great conversations with our guest, Emily Shaffer, who is a Software Developer for Google working on Git, which is an open source project. Emily fills us in on Git’s governance, deadnaming, submodules, Git Hooks, and GitGitGadget. We also learn more about a tutorial she wrote for people who are trying to learn how to contribute, called My First Contribution, we learn what her day to day experience looks like, and what she’s most excited about happening in the next year in Git. Go ahead and download this episode now to find out more!

[00:02:29] Emily explains why she was at the Embedded Linux Conference.

[00:04:09] We learn about Git’s governance, who runs it, and who works on it.

[00:05:41] The topic of software developers working full-time on Git and being paid is brought up, and Richard wonders if things are moving in certain ways because of the number of paid employees on the project.

[00:14:27] Richard wonders what efforts have been done in changing the name and email when you change a Git commit, and Emily explains how they use a Mail Map.

[00:20:52] Emily tells us about GitGitGadget.

[00:22:19] Before switching to Git, Emily was working on a similar project and Richard asks how many of the contributors are hobbyists, and she explains “scratching your own itch.”

[00:23:45] Emily explains the onboarding process and how she wrote a tutorial for people who are trying to learn to contribute called, My First Contribution.

[00:25:43] Richard wonders if there’s a guide for people who are interested in writing something for their own project, and Emily shares suggestions on what people can do.

[00:27:03] We learn about the working group Git has.

[00:29:07] Find out what Emily’s experience is on a day-to-day basis with having a Foundation be the home for Git.

[00:31:32] What is Emily most excited about happening in Git in the next year?

[00:34:14] Eric wonders if Emily ever reaches for GUI tool to manage her Git or if she is just CLI, and she shares a hot tip.

[00:37:00] Find out where you can follow Emily online.


[00:25:58] “Writing a new contributor document works well if you already don’t know what is going into the document.”


  • [00:37:43] Eric’s spotlight is Setapp.
  • [00:38:39] Richard’s spotlight is hub.
  • [00:39:25] Emily’s spotlight is the book, Little Brother by Cory Doctorow.



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