July 20–24, 2015
Portland, OR

99 ways to kill an open source project

Brandon Keepers (GitHub)
10:40am–11:20am Wednesday, 07/22/2015
Collaboration Portland 255
Average rating: ***..
(3.82, 11 ratings)

Prerequisite Knowledge

Participation in open source projects, either as a user or maintainer.


Growing and maintaining healthy open source projects is extremely difficult. Sometimes, to be successful, we need to learn all the ways that don’t work.

As users, there are countless ways we use to unintentionally make life more difficult for other users and maintainers. Whether it is by filing bug reports that lack the necessary details about the issue and how to reproduce it, or being so focused on our own needs that we don’t realize how disrespectful we are to the human beings behind the avatars, we contribute to the demoralizing experiences that drive maintainers to burn out.

As maintainers, we overlook all the things we do that make our projects difficult to use and unappealing to contributors. We fail to document important information about using or contributing to the project, or we are unresponsive to issues and contributions.

This absurd, humorous, and completely serious talk will teach you everything you need to know to ensure that a healthy open source project meets its demise. Whether you are a user testing the open source waters, an experienced maintainer, or open source ate your hard drive, discover techniques to ruin your corner of the world.

Photo of Brandon Keepers

Brandon Keepers


GitHub has changed the way open source is built, and Brandon Keepers is changing the way GitHub builds open source. An engineer by trade, he believes open source is a fundamental to building great products, and great products sustain healthy open source projects. He shares his endeavors on twitter as @bkeepers and on his blog at opensoul.org.