Idea: maintainers supporting each other / mailing list


Matt Farina
 

The maintainer of a popular Rust project quit this morning and took down the project. Buried in the post mortem:

Be a maintainer of large open source project is not a fun task. You alway face with rude and hate, everyone knows better how to build software, nobody wants to do home work and read docs and think a bit and very few provide any help.

If you maintain something that gets popular this is bound to happen. I appreciate that the CNCF requires maintainers from multiple organizations to graduate. This means the burnout of one person or organization isn't going to take down a project.

But, this doesn't do much for the mental health of the maintainers on the projects. Incubating and sandbox projects don't need to have multi-org maintainers so there is still risk. But, where is the CNCF support system to help them build more maintainers and deal with the stress that comes along with being popular? The stress isn't just expectations others put on us. We sometimes put it on ourselves.

With that in mind, can we start to build out a support system. I would suggest starting with a mailing list that's maintainers only. A place where we maintainers can talk about things in private. Seek help, share ideas, get advice from others going through it, and so forth. For some projects that overlap in space this would need to be done in the spirit of coopetition.

Thoughts?

- Matt Farina


Richard Hartmann
 

I like this very much. I have been in this hole and it's
highly-nonobvious that this was even happening, or what, initially, to
do about it.

This could also be part of CloudNativeCons, though I am not sure about
timing, setting, framing. But it sounds like something people could
use. Plus, knowing each other in person, could help strengthen
inter-projects ties.


Yuri Shkuro
 

Brandon and I hosted two zoom meetings last year where we invited all the maintainers to give us feedback on what the CNCF can do for them. I learned a lot from those meetings including lots of maintainers have the same concerns and are often met with the same scenarios.

As I recall, there was even a long document that many people collaborated on. Was anything done to address the concerns of maintainers raised in that document & meetings?

On Fri, Jan 17, 2020 at 11:24 AM Richard Hartmann <richih@...> wrote:
I like this very much. I have been in this hole and it's
highly-nonobvious that this was even happening, or what, initially, to
do about it.

This could also be part of CloudNativeCons, though I am not sure about
timing, setting, framing. But it sounds like something people could
use. Plus, knowing each other in person, could help strengthen
inter-projects ties.




Chris Aniszczyk
 

This is a no brainer, we will create a mailing list to start:

We are also gearing up for our bi-annual maintainer survey next month, so if you have questions or ideas on how to surface things via that please open up issues here: https://github.com/cncf/surveys/tree/master/maintainer/2019

On Fri, Jan 17, 2020 at 10:24 AM Richard Hartmann <richih@...> wrote:
I like this very much. I have been in this hole and it's
highly-nonobvious that this was even happening, or what, initially, to
do about it.

This could also be part of CloudNativeCons, though I am not sure about
timing, setting, framing. But it sounds like something people could
use. Plus, knowing each other in person, could help strengthen
inter-projects ties.





--
Chris Aniszczyk (@cra) | +1-512-961-6719


Matt Farina
 

While we're talking about this...

If anyone needs someone to talk to or figure out how to deal with this stuff... I am happy to listen and share what I've learned. I feel like I have a system (that works for me) that doesn't leave me too stressed and I can still be productive enough with. I'm happy to share.


Liz Rice
 

Thanks for raising this, it’s important for sure. 

Is this something that could / should fit in the remit of Paris’s proposed SIG Contribex? 

--
Liz Rice
@lizrice | lizrice.com | +44 (0) 780 126 1145



On 17 Jan 2020, at 17:18, Matt Farina <matt@...> wrote:

While we're talking about this...

If anyone needs someone to talk to or figure out how to deal with this stuff... I am happy to listen and share what I've learned. I feel like I have a system (that works for me) that doesn't leave me too stressed and I can still be productive enough with. I'm happy to share.


Lorenzo Fontana
 

I would really need this already, good idea Matt!

Lorenzo


On Fri, Jan 17, 2020 at 4:27 PM Matt Farina <matt@...> wrote:
The maintainer of a popular Rust project quit this morning and took down the project. Buried in the post mortem:

Be a maintainer of large open source project is not a fun task. You alway face with rude and hate, everyone knows better how to build software, nobody wants to do home work and read docs and think a bit and very few provide any help.

If you maintain something that gets popular this is bound to happen. I appreciate that the CNCF requires maintainers from multiple organizations to graduate. This means the burnout of one person or organization isn't going to take down a project.

But, this doesn't do much for the mental health of the maintainers on the projects. Incubating and sandbox projects don't need to have multi-org maintainers so there is still risk. But, where is the CNCF support system to help them build more maintainers and deal with the stress that comes along with being popular? The stress isn't just expectations others put on us. We sometimes put it on ourselves.

With that in mind, can we start to build out a support system. I would suggest starting with a mailing list that's maintainers only. A place where we maintainers can talk about things in private. Seek help, share ideas, get advice from others going through it, and so forth. For some projects that overlap in space this would need to be done in the spirit of coopetition.

Thoughts?

- Matt Farina


Leonardo Di Donato
 

This is wonderful and very needed. I can relate...

Thanks for bringing this up!

Don’t really know what the perfect setup (zoom? slack? in person meetings?) for such thing would be, but having something would be better than having nothing.

+1

On Fri, 17 Jan 2020 at 16:27, Matt Farina <matt@...> wrote:
The maintainer of a popular Rust project quit this morning and took down the project. Buried in the post mortem:

Be a maintainer of large open source project is not a fun task. You alway face with rude and hate, everyone knows better how to build software, nobody wants to do home work and read docs and think a bit and very few provide any help.

If you maintain something that gets popular this is bound to happen. I appreciate that the CNCF requires maintainers from multiple organizations to graduate. This means the burnout of one person or organization isn't going to take down a project.

But, this doesn't do much for the mental health of the maintainers on the projects. Incubating and sandbox projects don't need to have multi-org maintainers so there is still risk. But, where is the CNCF support system to help them build more maintainers and deal with the stress that comes along with being popular? The stress isn't just expectations others put on us. We sometimes put it on ourselves.

With that in mind, can we start to build out a support system. I would suggest starting with a mailing list that's maintainers only. A place where we maintainers can talk about things in private. Seek help, share ideas, get advice from others going through it, and so forth. For some projects that overlap in space this would need to be done in the spirit of coopetition.

Thoughts?

- Matt Farina

--
L.


Justin Cappos <jcappos@...>
 

Agreed!  This would be a helpful resource.  I've had a few situations (especially looking for advice for dealing with crazy "contributors") where I would have loved to use this...


On Sun, Jan 19, 2020 at 6:24 AM Leonardo Di Donato <leodidonato@...> wrote:
This is wonderful and very needed. I can relate...

Thanks for bringing this up!

Don’t really know what the perfect setup (zoom? slack? in person meetings?) for such thing would be, but having something would be better than having nothing.

+1

On Fri, 17 Jan 2020 at 16:27, Matt Farina <matt@...> wrote:
The maintainer of a popular Rust project quit this morning and took down the project. Buried in the post mortem:

Be a maintainer of large open source project is not a fun task. You alway face with rude and hate, everyone knows better how to build software, nobody wants to do home work and read docs and think a bit and very few provide any help.

If you maintain something that gets popular this is bound to happen. I appreciate that the CNCF requires maintainers from multiple organizations to graduate. This means the burnout of one person or organization isn't going to take down a project.

But, this doesn't do much for the mental health of the maintainers on the projects. Incubating and sandbox projects don't need to have multi-org maintainers so there is still risk. But, where is the CNCF support system to help them build more maintainers and deal with the stress that comes along with being popular? The stress isn't just expectations others put on us. We sometimes put it on ourselves.

With that in mind, can we start to build out a support system. I would suggest starting with a mailing list that's maintainers only. A place where we maintainers can talk about things in private. Seek help, share ideas, get advice from others going through it, and so forth. For some projects that overlap in space this would need to be done in the spirit of coopetition.

Thoughts?

- Matt Farina

--
L.