Drive-through contributors: they drop by; they fix their problem; they leave. We’d prefer that these people stick around and join the community, but a good drive-through contribution adds value to your project. A strong argument can be made that the more drive-through contributors your project has, the healthier the project process and ecosystem. It shows that you’ve set up a process which is easy to understand, easy to follow, and which makes it easy to contribute—a situation that increases the opportunities for new contributors to become new community members. VM Brasseur explores methods for maximizing drive-through contributions and suggests using the number of drive-through contributions as a metric for project health.
VM (aka Vicky) Brasseur spent most of her time in the tech industry leading software development departments and teams and providing technical management and leadership consulting for small and medium businesses. Now she leverages nearly 30 years of free and open source software experience and a strong business background to advise companies about free and open source software, technology, community, business, and the intersections between them. Vicky is the proud winner of the Perl White Camel Award (2014) and the O’Reilly Open Source Award (2016) and is the author of Forge Your Future with Open Source, the first book to detail how to contribute to free and open source software projects. (Think of it as the missing manual on open source contributions and community participation.) She’s the vice president of the Open Source Initiative, a moderator and author for Opensource.com, and a frequent and popular speaker at free and open source conferences and events. She frequently blogs about free and open source software, business, and technical management.
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