Last week, Kristerpher Henderson and James Lott tackled the human element of open source projects with their workshop on community building and project management. Kris and James were also kind enough to merge their project with the Code for Philly GitHub repo, so you can check out their presentation here.

Bringing in experts from the community to lead talks or workshops is something we’re considering doing more often. So, if you enjoyed James and Kris’ presentation, let us know.

It can be easy when building an open source project to hyper-focus on results and the code and forget that it takes people working together towards small, manageable and regular goals to reach the finish line. Kris and James took the time to do a deep dive into the many little things you have to do, with both GitHub and your human project partners, to really set up your open source project for success.

Key Takeaways from Kris and James’ Presentation:

  • Roadmapping, the process of setting goals and then breaking those goals down into individual tasks, is key to successful project building.
  • Be transparent with your team, always let them know what you’re working on and what you’re NOT working on.
  • Civic tech projects should always have a mission people can rally around.
  • Always take the time after establishing your project’s mission to survey the community and ensure your project hasn’t already been created (if it has, you can shift from creator to contributor).