Ruth Cheesley | Josh Goldberg
Note: Due to an issue with Gmail sending the edited podcast to spam (thanks, gmail), this is going out a bit late!
Hello and welcome to Sustain! The podcast where we talk about sustaining open source for the long haul. This is a special podcast and one of several in this series for GitHub’s Maintainer Month. We’re interviewing maintainers to ask them about their experience of open source and their experience of living as maintainers. Our first guest is Ruth Cheesley, a maintainer and community lead for Mautic, an open source marketing automation platform. Richard and Ruth dive into open source governance, community engagement, and organizing virtual conferences. Ruth shares how she reinvigorated the Mautic community, highlighting the importance of transparency and empowering community leaders, and she unveils her project focusing on governance and fundraising to ensure Mautic’s sustainability. Our next guest is Josh Goldberg, a full-time independent open source developer who’s contributed significantly to TypeScript. They discuss Josh’s transition from TSLint to TypeScript-ESLint, his efforts to boost developer community efficiency, and the importance of fair compensation for maintainers. Also, there’s a conversation on the governance proposal of TypeScript-ESLint and the challenges of fair funding. Hit download to hear more!
[00:01:06] Ruth tells us about Mautic and the growing community. Also, the core team/leadership team is made up of team leads for each functional area and Ruth as project lead.
[00:03:32] Ruth thinks of herself as a maintainer because she’s instrumental in the project’s direction and ongoing development.
[00:04:21] We hear about a challenging time for Ruth when Mautic was first acquired by Acquia in 2019, she was brought in as community manger to navigate this change and was successful in regaining trust an keeping the project moving forward.
[00:07:41] Ruth emphasizes the importance of transparency in building trust, and she encourages maintainers to empower their community members by providing opportunities for leadership and ownership.
[00:08:57] What’s been fun for Ruth? Organizing Mautic’s first-ever conference which was an inclusive, multi-lingual event with over 300 attendees.
[00:12:11] Ruth discusses her excitement about the independent project they’re working on, focusing on governance and fundraising. She expressed her vision for Mautic to be among the top options when people consider marketing automation tools.
[00:13:49] We find out Ruth’s long-term career aspirations in open source and community management, and how enjoys the challenge of new tasks and strives to balance her routine administrative duties with more fulfilling tasks that bring her joy.
[00:17:01] She advises community managers to keep working in public, even it feels like an echo chamber initially, as people are watching and learning how they can contribute to the project. She suggested that this approach prevents burnout and invites others to generously contribute their time and support to the project.
[00:18:09] Find out where you can learn more about Mautic and Ruth on the web.
[00:20:22] Josh Goldberg joins us and fills us in on his journey into open source. He discusses the transition from the TSLint project, a linter for TypeScript, to TypeScript-ESLint, a set of extensions on top of ESLint that allows linting of TypeScript code, improving the efficiency and reducing duplication between the ESLint and TSLint communities.
[00:22:13] His work is primarily funded through the Open Collective platform and some individual sponsorship on GitHub, and ESLint also sponsors the TypeScript-ESLint project.
[00:23:06] We learn about the co-maintainers that work on the team. He also tells us they are working on a governance proposal, involving a system that ranks contributions by points, aiming to encourage maintainers and contributors to keep contributing.
[00:24:39] Josh mentions his role as an open source maintainer, which has turned out to be mostly DevRel.
[00:25:42] We hear about sustainable funding, and one of the challenges Josh experiences is the necessity to ask for funding, but he sees it as a necessary part of maintaining an open source project that lacks corporate backing.
[00:27:10] There’s a discussion on sustainable funding and Josh explains how they have different definitions based on their life situations.
[00:28:54] Josh tells us the work is primarily funded through the Open Collective platform and some individual sponsorship on GitHub. He also talks about the governance proposal, involving a system that ranks contributions by points,
[00:31:51] Josh mentions his role as an open source maintainer, which he initially thought would be half DevRel and half coding, has turned out to be DevRel, and he enjoys interacting with users and networking but misses core coding work.
[00:33:03] One of the challenges Josh experiences is the necessity to ask for funding.
[00:33:56] Richard suggests the possibility of expanding the TypeScript ESLint team to include toles focused on fundraising and community building, and Josh loves this idea.
[00:35:31] Find out where you can follow Josh on the web.
[00:04:04] “Maintainers are conductors of an open source project orchestra.”
[00:31:57] “When I came into this, I thought it would half DevRel, half coding, but it’s not. It’s majority DevRel and I like that.”
- SustainOSS Twitter
- SustainOSS Discourse
- SustainOSS Mastodon
- Open Collective-SustainOSS (Contribute)
- Richard Littauer Twitter
- Ruth Cheesley Twitter
- Ruth Cheesley Website
- Mautic Leadership Team
- Mautic Contribution
- Sustain Podcast- 2 episodes featuring guest Ruth Cheesley
- Josh Goldberg Website
- Josh Goldberg Twitter
- TypeScript-ESLint Mastodon
- Open Collective-typescript-eslint
- Learning TypeScript by Josh Goldberg
- Produced by Richard Littauer
- Edited by Paul M. Bahr at Peachtree Sound
- Show notes by DeAnn Bahr Peachtree Sound