We are happy to have now released the Maintainerati Berlin Event Report and Session Notes. The reports are the work of 80 maintainers, 15 note-takers, and a production team of six people. They present a summary of the many, and varied, discussions that took place on 24 May 2019 in the Spreespeicher Center in Berlin.
Why make these reports? Maintainers face many challenges in their daily work—both technical and human. Over the decades, maintainers have developed a wide range of ways to overcome or mitigate these challenges, but their knowledge tends to be siloed; the lessons learned are not passed on enough.
When maintainers get together they consistently find that sharing challenges and lessons is valuable not only as on-the-spot group therapy, but also that they can take these lessons home and apply them in the real world.
But all too often these group discussions are not recorded. Individuals benefit from what they can personally remember from a Maintainerati event. We set up the Event Report series to prevent lessons and insights from being lost.
In these reports you will find a record of the discussions that took place, discussion of key topics, maintainer’s recommendations for how to deal with them, and ideas for how maintainers can work together to create healthy, sustainable communities.
We encourage all maintainers, researchers, companies, and policy-makers to engage with these reports and the issues they present. They represent the voice of (a part of) the maintainer’s community. There are some great insights and advice both in the Event Report and the rawer Session Notes. Let’s keep the project moving.
What we did
After Berlin, we went straight into production. We gathered typed notes from the 15 note-takers, transcribed their audio summaries, and compiled everything into one big document. We then lightly edited the text to make it readable. The result is the Session Notes.
Then we began the process of analysis. We scoured the 20,000 words of session notes to pull out key themes. Ultimately we identified 12 themes that reappeared again and again across the sessions. These form the basis of the Event Report.
The process took substantially longer than we had hoped. The process of compiling the notes was itself time-consuming and took six volunteers several weeks to achieve. Then came the task of analysis and writing up the material. Somewhat ironically (or perhaps not), what slowed us down were the very same issues that plague the open space community: the project depends on the volunteer labour of busy people, some of whom are struggling with their own issues of overwork and burnout. But, in the end, we did it!
Download the Maintainerati Berlin Event Report and Session Notes, share with your friends and colleagues, and please let us know if you have any feedback!
Call for volunteers
Maintainerati is a big project and we can’t do it alone. We need your help! Whether you are a coder, designer, writer, facilitator, or bring other skills to the table, we welcome your involvement. Things we need help with include, but are not limited to:
- Helping run (online) Maintainerati events
- Improving the Maintainerati website
- Improving the Maintainerati branding
- Writing blog posts
Let us know how you can help!