Being successful in creating an open source community requires planning, measurements, and clear goals. But it’s less clear why you’re doing this, who you’re targeting, and how you can achieve your goals.
Mary Thengvall, Jason Hibbets, Sherrie Rohde, Mike Jang, and Angie Jones share their firsthand experiences of how open source communities have directly attributed to the success of a product as well as best practices to build and maintain these communities.
Mary Thengvall is the founder and CEO of Persea Consulting, working with companies looking to build out a developer relations strategy. A connector of people at heart, both personally and professionally, she loves digging into the strategy of how to build and foster developer communities and has been doing so for over 10 years at companies including O’Reilly, Chef, and SparkPost. In addition to her work, she’s known for being “the one with the dog,” thanks to her ever-present medical alert service dog Ember. She’s the author of the first book on developer relations, The Business Value of Developer Relations (Apress); is founder and cohost of Community Pulse, a podcast for developer relations professionals; and curates DevRel Weekly, a weekly newsletter that brings you a curated list of articles, job postings, and events every Thursday. She’s also a founding member and “benevolent queen” of the evangelist collective Slack team and a member of Prompt, a nonprofit that encourages people to openly talk about mental illness in tech. She speaks at various conferences and events about building and fostering technical communities and preventing burnout in yourself and your team.
Jason Hibbets is a senior community architect (a mash-up of a community manager and project manager) at Red Hat for Opensource.com—a publication and storytelling platform for open source communities. He’s the author of The Foundation for an Open Source City—a resource for cities and communities interested in improving their government through civic technology and open innovation. While writing the book, he discovered his unknown superpower of building communities of passionate people. He’s been building community for Opensource.com since 2010, the Open Organization since 2015, and the Opensource.com DevOps team since 2017. In his copious spare time, he enjoys surfing, running, gardening, traveling, watching football, sampling craft beer, and participating in local government—not necessarily in that order, but close to it. You can find him on Twitter as @jhibbets.
Sherrie Rohde is the community manager at Magento, where she’s responsible for Magento Masters, the Magento forums, and Magento meetups. On a mission to help the Magento community be successful in their own roles, she’s focused on improving mental health and creating an inclusive environment. Previously, Sherrie was the ecommerce program manager at Rebellion Media, a Magento developer at Minerva Promotions, and moderator on the Magento forums, gaining experience in UX and product management. Sherrie also served as the producer of My Community Manager’s #CMGRHangout and Community Manager appreciation day broadcasts. She’s been featured in industry podcast Community Signal and has spoken at a number of events throughout the world, including the Community Leadership Summit and Magento conferences. Sherrie is proud to call Los Angeles home, where she loves exploring the outdoors, including hiking and volunteering as a naturalist for Cabrillo Whalewatch.
Mike Jang is a senior staff technical writer for ForgeRock, where he documents how deployers can incorporate identity and access management solutions into their systems. To figure out what to write, Mike spends much of his time analyzing and testing new software. He also leads the Write the Docs meetup team. Write the Docs is a global community of people who care about software documentation. With 42 meetups in 11 different time zones, Mike has focused on documenting best practices and helping meetup leaders help each other. Mike has written a couple of dozen technical books, including multiple editions of McGraw-Hill’s RHCSA/RHCE Red Hat Linux Certification Study Guide. He’s also the author of O’Reilly’s Linux Annoyances for Geeks.
Angie Jones is a senior developer advocate who specializes in test automation strategies and techniques with Applitools. She shares her wealth of knowledge by speaking and teaching at software conferences all over the world, writing tutorials and technical articles on Angiejones.tech, and leading the online learning platform Test Automation University. As a Master Inventor, Angie is known for her innovative and out-of-the-box thinking style, which has resulted in more than 25 patented inventions in the US and China. In her spare time, she volunteers with Black Girls Code to teach coding workshops to young girls in an effort to attract more women and minorities to tech.
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