Episode 231

OSCA 2023 with Velda Kiara on her Open Source Journey


May 3rd, 2024

19 mins 48 secs

Your Host
Special Guest

About this Episode


Velda Kiara


Richard Littauer

Show Notes

Today, host Richard has a conversation with guest Velda Kiara, a passionate open source developer. Velda discusses how open source has helped businesses, how it benefits both coders and non-coders, and how it can lead to career growth. She also talks about the challenges of open source, particularly in terms of finances and the sustainability of projects. The discussion also turns to Velda’s attendance at OSCA fest in Lagos, Nigeria, and her involvement with Black Python Devs. Velda shares her personal journey of contributing to Django and other Python projects and tells us about her experience joining programs like Djangonaut Space and contributing to projects like Novu. Press download now to hear more!

[00:00:10] The episode opens with Velda highlighting the ins and outs of open source, acknowledging that it allows for the use of software that businesses can monetize. She appreciates the good that comes from open source despite the criticism of some corporations. She acknowledges the pros and cons of open source, expressing hope that the pros will eventually outweigh the cons.

[00:02:21] Richard introduces Velda and praises her answer and asks if she’d like to change her initial statement. Velda stands by her answer, expressing willingness to continue the discussion for further insights on open source.

[00:03:31] Velda confirms her attendance at OSCA fest, mentioning he talk on building APIs with Django, DRF, and Open API, and discusses the importance of sustainability in growing the open source community in Africa.

[00:04:34] Richard inquires about Velda’s involvement with Black Panther Devs, and she explains the inception, its objectives, and activities like workshops and meetups that support the community.

[00:07:12] The conversation shifts to encouraging newcomers to join open source, emphasizing roles beyond coding, such as project management and writing.

[00:09:08] Richard and Velda discuss the challenges designers face in open source and the potential career benefits of contributing to open source, even for non-developers. Velda shares how open source helped her gain experience and improve skills, which is beneficial at any career level, and she discusses the “level up” aspect of open source and the learning opportunities it provides.

[00:12:00] Richard explores into the sustainability of open source for late-stage careers and the challenges maintainers face. Velda suggests using open source for mentorship and ensuring project continuity by engaging contributors and sharing maintenance responsibilities.

[00:14:02] What currently excites Velda about open source? She expresses her excitement about contributing to Django after building many websites with it and her positive experience at DjangoCon US, which she found to be an inclusive community. Also, she discusses Djangonaut Space, an eight-week program designed to assist new contributors like her in contributing to the Django framework or third-party packages.

[00:16:28] Velda mentions her contributions to other Python projects, such as Novu, and her new experiences working with SDKs. She reflects on the learning process in open source and shares her excitement for exploring various Python projects and talks about how she started a newsletter called, “The Storytellers by Tales.”


[00:12:36] “If you eventually want to not let the project die, you could easily use open source as a way to mentor another person who’s going to help you maintain for a while if you want to retire or stop writing code in general.”



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