Episode 38: Community is Everything: Open Source with Henry Zhu (Part 3)
Welcome back to another episode of Enjoy the Vue. This concludes our three-part interview with Babel maintainer, Henry Zhu. Last time, we closed our discussion with what work maintainers of open source projects do that is not straight coding. In this episode, we continue talking with Henry about what do people count as maintenance work versus other tasks that definitely need to get done, but are perhaps less visible to the public eye. Henry also shares his approaches to taking care of himself and the pursuit of serendipity, and we discuss the inclusivity of the open source community, the relationship between in-person communities and open source culture, and we get into our picks of the week, so make sure not to miss this episode!
Key Points From This Episode:
Henry opens with the dichotomy between freedom and obligation for maintainers.
Maintainers don’t see certain tasks as maintenance, such as answering user queries.
What Henry does to take care of himself, like sport or playing music, and his musings on what serendipity looks like in an online setting.
Spaces that promote serendipity, and why actively pursuing serendipity is not a paradox.
There are communities like Google Summer of Code that promote open source involvement.
Preferences are shaped through experiences of the communities, so it is important that they be inclusive, particularly for women.
The relationship between in-person communities and open source culture.
Ben’s picks this week include a ukulele, Azul, and Nadia Eghbal’s book, Working in Public.
Veekas recommends Kim’s Convenience and Race After Technology by Ruha Benjamin.
Henry’s picks include Tools for Conviviality by Ivan Illich, and a card game called The Mind.
Tessa suggests Journey, the Reply series, and Conquer Your Critical Inner Voice.
“How do we get people to have a higher sense of ownership so that we can lessen the burden on maintainers?” — @left_pad [0:02:37]
“There's an aspect of serendipity involves risk, and involves trust and faith in something, in the future. Me putting myself out there is going to lead to something good.” — @left_pad [0:05:50]
“I feel being more intentional, specifically reaching out to people, or getting involved in certain communities is probably better. There are formal versions of this, like Google Summer of Code. We've done that and Rails Girls, Summer of Code, stuff like that. Yeah, maybe we need more of that, instead of this blanket like, ‘Hey, anyone can get involved.’” — @left_pad [0:07:48]
“For a tool, we want self-expression from the people that use it and I think coding is – or anything, [Illich] mentions education, and school, and medicine, and coding could be another thing where it's increasingly harder to learn how to code, even though now we have boot camps and stuff.” — @left_pad [0:17:46]
Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:
- Henry Zhu on Twitter (https://twitter.com/left_pad?lang=en)
- Henry Zhu on GitHub (https://github.com/hzoo)
- Henry Zhu (https://www.henryzoo.com/)
- Hope in Source Podcast (https://hopeinsource.com/)
- Maintainers Anonymous Podcast (https://maintainersanonymous.com/)
- Babel (https://babeljs.io/)
- Google Summer of Code (https://summerofcode.withgoogle.com/archive/)
- Rails Girls (http://railsgirls.com/)
- Vue Vixens (https://www.vuevixens.org/)
- Working in Public (https://www.amazon.com/Working-Public-Making-Maintenance-Software/dp/0578675862)
- Kim’s Convenience on Netflix (https://www.netflix.com/title/80199128)
- Race After Technology (https://www.amazon.com/Race-After-Technology-Abolitionist-Tools/dp/1509526404)
- Tools for Conviviality (https://www.amazon.com/Tools-Conviviality-Ivan-Illich/dp/1842300113/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=Tools+for+Conviviality&qid=1601903637&s=books&sr=1-1)
- Journey (https://thatgamecompany.com/journey/)
- Conquer Your Critical Inner Voice (https://www.amazon.com/Conquer-Your-Critical-Inner-Voice/dp/1572242876/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=Conquer+Your+Critical+Inner+Voice&qid=1601904786&sr=8-1)
- Enjoy the Vue on Twitter (https://twitter.com/enjoythevuecast?lang=en)
- Enjoy the Vue (https://enjoythevue.io/) Special Guest: Henry Zhu.