GitHub, in partnership with Tidelift, has set aside June 7-12, 2021, as Maintainer Week, a time for open source maintainers to share knowledge and experiences through a series of planned activities and events.
Tidelift plans to kick off Maintainer Week on June 7 with a virtual event called Upstream, featuring 30+ sessions that attendees can watch live or access following the event. This event will focus on some of the bigger problems and trends in the open source ecosystem. For example, Sarah Novotny from Microsoft will be speaking about open source as an innovation engine. Simon Phipps, OSI Director of Standards and Policy, will be presenting on “spotting the rights ratchet model early,” a hot topic in the recent open source relicensing controversies. Attendees will also have the opportunity to meet the maintainers and experts behind many popular open source tools that are used at scale.
GitHub will be hosting its inaugural Global Maintainer Summit on June 8-9 as part of the week’s activities. It is billed as more of a gathering or “group therapy session” for maintainers, with lightning talks featuring different projects’ approaches to common problems. WordPress lead developer Helen Hou-Sandí will be presenting a session called “You Can’t Have a Solution Without a Problem.” GitHub emphasized that attendees do not have to be open source maintainers to attend, as many of the the best practices and skills discussed pertain to other aspects of life.
In between sessions, maintainers will have the chance to build collaborative relationships with others and add skills that will help them avoid burnout. GitHub will be hosting a virtual hallway experience using Gather. This will allow attendees to talk with those standing closest to them and have smaller, more personal conversations.
Open source maintainers who want to connect with others who share some of the same challenges, will want to add Maintainer Week’s activities to the calendar. All of the upcoming events are free but registration is required on the Upstream site.