How can you be an effective Open Source Maintainer?

Be ready for a lot of notifications

This is a great tip for first-time maintainers: you will get a lot of messages.

Make it easy for newcomers to get started

Writing clear and detailed documentation and having issues identified that are suitable for newbies make your community more welcoming- and save time for Maintainers, too.

Be clear on documentation. Be really clear

It is almost impossible to make your documentation clear enough.

Be kind to contributors

Remember that these contributors are volunteers, who have chosen to spend their time helping improve your project. Repay their contributions with thoughtfulness.

Encourage multiple code reviews per pull request

Code reviews are a magic method to help improve the code and help improve coders’ skill and knowledge. It’s not just about the code author, either- code reviewers frequently learn by reviewing.

Automate processes

The more that can be done to improve the code and core processes, the less work it is for the maintainers and contributors, and the more they can focus on what they can contribute.

Set clear expectations on time commitments and update them accordingly

This is the flip side of “Focus” for the Contributors. If you are a Maintainer, be realistic about what time commitment you can actually make, and meet that commitment. If the situation changes and you have to reduce the time, be upfront about that too.

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