During the month of May, the open source community celebrated Maintainer Month by hosting events, sharing maintainer stories, and sponsoring the maintainers behind the work we all depend on.
Maintainer Month is a time for open source maintainers to gather, share, and be celebrated. Over 31 days, 16 organizations came together to offer 42 activities convening and celebrating maintainers. Some highlights:
- 🎉 15 meetups, workshops and talks convening nearly 500 maintainers around the world, including workshops like “Empowering Open Source Contributors and Building Future Leaders” with CHAOSS Project Africa.
- ✨ 2 conferences gathering thousands of participants, including the Linux Foundation’s Open Source Summit North America (OSS NA) in Vancouver, Canada and JupyterCon in Paris, France.
- 🎙 24 podcasts and streams, including “The journey to becoming a maintainer with Jessica Tegner” on Open Source Stories and Maintainer Month with Predrag Gruevski and Kingsley Mkpandiok on the Sustain podcast.
- 📕 27 maintainers shared their stories in the open library celebrating maintainers.
- 💖 2 corporate giving programs, including Bloomberg’s second round of nominations for the FOSS Fund and GitHub’s sponsorship matching for organizations using Sponsors for Companies.
Some of our favorite #MaintainerMonth memories fit the themes for this year.
Many open source libraries have huge user bases all depending on a tiny maintainer team! On the Maintainer Month wall at OSS NA, Anne Bertucio gave a shoutout to “all the two-maintainer libraries with 10,000 users.” We hope those folks get a break, too.
— anne bertucio (@WhyHiAnnabelle) May 10, 2023
The SustainOSS team caught up with Bob Killen (Kubernetes Steering Committee) and Navendu Pottekkat (Apache APISI) to discuss leveling up contributors to take on larger project maintenance roles. On the theme of stepping back, Bob addresses how he’s creating a future where he can step back from some of his leadership roles eventually, by investing in mentorship now.
We heard Kelsey Hightower’s heartwarming story on the ReadME podcast–from avoiding burnout, to finding new leaders, to the importance of being in the room and inspiring the next generation of technologists that look like him.
From starting out to standing out. Join @Kelseyhightower as he shares his story. Also, get a glimpse into the future of Kubernetes and how to tackle complex tech, now on The ReadME Podcast. https://t.co/MMdXaJWOzJ pic.twitter.com/vk0y2lnOE1
— GitHub (@github) May 23, 2023
On Open Source Stories, we heard about the peculiarities of security maintainership with Filippo Valsorda—including how essential saying ‘NO’ is to project security.
Dive into the details of maintaining security-oriented #OpenSource projects with @FiloSottile, #GoLang cryptography engineer. In his #MaintainerMonth story, Filippo talks about how he manages these types of projects and the unique approach he takes. https://t.co/1CH2TLU2bC
— Open Source Stories (@StoriesOfOSS) May 31, 2023
Looking for examples for how companies can start sponsoring open source? Changelog hosted a conversation with Duane O’Brien, Chad Whitacre, and Alyssa Wright on how companies are sponsoring OSS, diving into corporate models for choosing projects and divvying up funds. Bloomberg used this time to announce the second round of nominations for their FOSS fund!
Many organizations used Maintainer Month to call attention to sponsoring maintainers and ask for nominations for maintainers to sponsor! The Open Source Initiative (OSI) asks us to “consider sponsoring a maintainer or contributing to an Open Source project” along with their newsletter on the vital role of open source maintainers facing the Cyber Resilience Act.
— Open Source Initiative @email@example.com (@OpenSourceOrg) May 8, 2023
Ockam also celebrated sponsoring maintainers this month! They’re actively looking for recommendations for people and projects to sponsor in 2023. Do you know anyone building systems that are “secure by design”? Nominate a maintainer to sponsor here!
At @Ockam, we ❤️ open source software.
It's #MaintainerMonth – an opportunity to pay in forward. This time we want to sponsor people who are helping software be more Secure By Design.
— Mrinal Wadhwa (@mrinal) May 16, 2023
As #MaintainerMonth draws to a close, we reflect on the incredible memories we’ve made together. From heartwarming stories of support to inspiring displays of resilience, this month has been a testament to the power of open source communities. But let’s not let the celebrations end here!
Let’s carry forward the spirit of connection and appreciation for the people behind these projects. Here are three ways you can continue fostering a culture of support for maintainers that lasts beyond a single month:
- Reach out to a maintainer to say thank you and share some support. Ask yourself: whose work do I rely on?
- Are you a maintainer? Reflect on your work using this open source burnout checklist from governingopen.com, and if you’re looking for advice, drop into the Maintainer Community. More importantly—can you schedule a vacation?
- Share your #MaintainerMonth memories to encourage others to support and celebrate maintainers
Together, let’s support maintainers to continue building the future of open source.
From hosting meetups, to writing blog posts, to editing podcasts and more–all of you made Maintainer Month a huge success!
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