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 (Vicky) Brasseur is the director of open source strategy at Juniper, where she leverages her nearly 30 years of free and open source software experience and strong business background to help Juniper be successful through free and open source software. She spent most of her 20-plus years in the tech industry leading software development departments and teams, providing technical management and leadership consulting for small and medium businesses, and helping companies understand, use, release, and contribute to free and open source software in a way that’s good for both their bottom line and for the community. She’s the author of Forge Your Future with Open Source, the first and only book to detail how to contribute to free and open source software projects (published by the Pragmatic Programmers). Vicky’s a moderator and author for Opensource.com, an author for Linux Journal, the former vice president of the Open Source Initiative, and a frequent and popular speaker at free and open source conferences and events. She’s the proud winner of the Perl White Camel Award (2014) and the O’Reilly Open Source Award (2016). She blogs about free and open source, business, and technical management.
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