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Sustainable OSS Development

Bozhidar Batsov

Bozhidar is the author of RuboCop and the editor of the community Ruby style guide. He's involved in a myriad of open-source projects, mostly related to Ruby, Clojure and Emacs. Many people would probably describe him as an Emacs zealot (and they would be right)


Building an useful OSS project is a lot of work. Maintaining a successful project over an extended period of time is a ton of work. Most of it is neither appreciated, nor paid for. Often maintainers have to deal with unreasonable expectations and hostility towards their projects and them by association. A lot of maintainers quickly lose their motivation or burn out in the process. Good projects get abandoned to rot. Is there a way out? Can we do things better?

In this talk we'll cover some of the main challenges for OSS projects:

  • Setting up good processes around a project
  • Marketing your work
  • Building a community
  • Raising funding
  • Work/life balance

We'll approach the topic from the perspective of a project maintainer, but we believe that everyone will learn something useful, regardless of their level of involvement with OSS projects.


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