VoV031: “Panelists Contributing to Opensource: Do Good, Do Well” (Pt. 1)


Special Guest: No Guest(s)

In this episode, the panel talks amongst themselves on the topic: how does one contribute to opensource work? They discuss their various ways that they contribute, such as speaking at conferences, recording videos for YouTube, podcasting, among others. Check-out today’s episode to get some insight and inspiration of how YOU can contribute to YOUR community! 

Show Topics:

1:31 – Erik: Contributing to opensource – and being a good resource for the community. Contributing and still making a living. If people want to make this more sustainable and doing work for the community.

2:26 – Chuck: What do you been by “contributing” – because people could think that “code contributions” would be it.

2:50 – Erik: Answering people’s questions in a chat, code contributions, or doing a podcast or doing a blog posts. I think there are a lot of ways to contribute. Really anything to make their lives and work easier.

3:33 – Panelist: Can we go around and ask the panel individually what THEY do?

It could be as simple as mentoring someone at your work. I’m curious to see what the panelist members have done. Sometimes you can get paid for those contributions.

4:40 – Panelist: I am super scared to contribute source code.

I really love organizing things: Meetups, conferences, etc. That’s my favorite sort of work. It is also terrifying, though, too. Educational content and organizing conferences are my favorite ways to contribute.

6:10 – Panelist: Why is that attractive for you?

6:22 – Panelist: That’s a good question. I’ve already started planning for the 2022 conference. It’s very physical – there are people that are present. Very direct interaction. My second favorite is sometimes I will teach at local boot camp, and the topic is about interviewing. There is interaction there, too.

8:32 – Panelist: Why do you think organizing conferences is useful?

8:46 – Panelist: Top way is that I will hear stories after the fact. “Oh I came to the conference, met this person, and now I have a new job that pays 30% more…thank you!” Stories like that are rewarding. It’s a ripple effect. A conference the main thing you are putting out there are videos (main product) going to YouTube. The people that are there, at the conference, are interacting people and they are making friends and making contacts. It inspires them to do better. John Papa just goes out there to talk into the hallway. You can talk to Chris Fritz in the hall. Make yourself available. You are the celebrities and people want to meet you.

12:20 – Panel talks about how desperate they are to talk to Chris.

12:36 – Panelist: Going to conferences and meeting other people.

13:08 – Panelist: Taking part of conferences in other ways. That’s something that you do Divya Sasidharan?

13:33 – Divya: It depends on your personality. You get to speak as a speaker, because you get visibility fast. I don’t think you don’t have to speak if you don’t want to speak. Anything within your community that is beneficial. Or the one-to-one interactions are great. Having a conversation with another person that cannot respond. It’s nice to give a speech because it’s a one-way conversation. I like the preparation part of it. The delivery is the nerves, afterwards is a high because it’s over with. I really like writing demos. For the demos I put in a lot of time into it. It gives me the space and time constraint to work on those demos.

16:10 – Do you like the preparation or the delivery?

16:20 – Preparation part that I do not like as much because it is nerve-wrecking, and then the anticipation to go up there on stage.

16:55 – Panelist: I am nervous until when it starts. Once I start talking – well that’s it! Can’t go back now.

17:26 – John: I have given a few talks at a conference.

17:39 – Panelist: Doing good and contributing. I knew John Papa when he was in Microsoft in 2000/2001. I read about it. Everyone knew about him. It would be so GREAT to meet John Papa, and now we are friends! We get to talk about personal stuff and I learn from him.

18:42 – Chris: I have had moments like that, too. Act like they are a normal person.

19:01 – Chuck: After I walk off the stage people want to talk to me afterwards.

19:24 – John: For my personal style, I learn about talking at conferences. I spend a lot of times building a demo. I don’t spend a lot of times with decks. I work on the code, the talk separately. I whip that up quickly, so I don’t

This is the story I am going to tell – that’s what I tell myself before I do a talk at a conference.

Afterwards, people come up to you years later – and they give you these awesome feedback comments. It’s a huge reward and very fulfilling. There was someone in this world you were able to impact. That’s why I like teaching. I watch the sessions on YouTube. I want to have deep conversations with people. You are missing out if you aren’t talking to people at the conference.

23:26 – Panelist: Yeah, I agree. I do a lot of YouTube videos. I write a blog for a few years on Node and such. Then I got into videos, and helping new developers. Videos on Vue.js. Like you, Joe, I try to combine the two. If I can help myself, and OTHERS, that is great. I promote my own courses, my own affiliate links. It’s really fun talking in front of a video camera. Talking through something complex and making it simple.

24:52 – Panelist: Creating videos vs. speaking at a conference.

25:02 – Panelist: My bucket list is to do my conferences. I want to start putting out proposals. Easiest thing for me is to make videos. I used to do 20 takes before I was happy, but now I do one take and that’s it.

256:00 – Sounds like lower effort. You don’t have to ask anyone for permission to do a YouTube video.

26:21 – Panelist: Even if you are a beginner, then you can probably help others, too. At first, you feel like you are talking to yourself. If anything else, you are learning and you are getting experience. The ruby ducky programming. Talking to something that cannot respond to you.

27:11 – Like when I write a…

27:29 – Check out duck punching, and Paul Irish.

28:00 – Digital Ocean

28:42 – The creativity of doing YouTube videos. Is that rewarding to be creative or the organization? What part do you like in the creation process?

29:23 – I think a blog you have text you can be funny you can make the text interesting.

With videos it’s a whole new world of teaching. YouTubers teaching certain concepts.  There are other people that have awesome animations. If I wanted to talk about a topic and do something simple or talk outside – there are a ton of different ways

31:10 – Panelist: Some times I just want to go off and be creative; hats-off to you.

31:28 – Panelist: I have tried to do a course with time stamps and certain

32:00 – D: Do you have a process of how you want to create your videos – what is your process?

32:22 – Panelist: I have a list of topics that I want to talk about. Then when I record it then I have a cheat sheet and I just go. Other people do other things, though. Like sketches and story boarding.

33:16 – D: Fun, fun, function. He has poster boards that he holds up and stuff.

33:36 – Panelist: People who listen to this podcast might be interested in podcasting?

33:54 – Panelist: Anyone who runs a podcast, Chuck?

34:16 – Chuck: When I started podcasting – I initially had to edit and publish – but now I pay someone to do it. It is a lot more work than it is. All you have to do is record and have a decent microphone, and put it out there.

35:18 – Panelist: It’s a labor of love. You almost lost your house because at first it wasn’t profitable.

35:45 – Chuck: Yeah for the most part we have it figured it out. Even then, we have 12 shows on the network on DevChat TV. 3 more I want to start and I want to put those on YouTube. Some people want to be on a new show with me. We will see.

36:37 – Chuck: I have a lot of people who asked about Python. We all come together and talk about what we are doing and seeing. It’s the water cooler discussion that people can hear for themselves.

The conversation that you wish you could have to talk to experts.

38:03 – Podcasts provide that if you cannot get that at a conference?

38:16 – Conference talks are a little bit more prepared. We can go deeper in a podcast interview, because we can bring them back. You can get as involved as you want. It’s also

38:53 – Chuck: Podcasting is good if there is good content and it’s regular.

39:09 – Panelist: What is GOOD content?

39:20 – Chuck: There are different things people want. Generally they want something like:

Staying Current

Staying on the Edge

When you go into the content it’s the host(s). I identify the way this host says THIS a certain way or that person says something THAT Way. That is all community connection. We do give people an introduction to topics that they might not hear anywhere else.

With a Podcast if something new comes up we can interview someone THIS week and publish next week. Always staying current.

41:36 – Chuck: A lot of things go into it and community connection and staying current.

41:52 – Panelist: How to get started in EACH of the things we talked about. How do we try to get paid for some of these things? So we can provide value to communities. Talking about money sometimes is taboo.

43:36 – Panelist: Those are full topics all in by themselves.

43:55 – Chuck: Sustainability – let’s talk about that. I think we can enter into that

44:15 – Panelist: How do you decide what’s for free and what you are charging? How do you decide?

44:55 – Joe: I think one thing to start off is the best way to operate – do it because you feel like it needs to be done. The money follows. The minute you start solving people’s problems, money will follow. It’s good to think about the money, but don’t be obsessed. React conference. The react team didn’t want to do the conference, but it’s got to happen. The money happened afterwards. The money follows. Look for opportunities. Think ahead and be the responsible one.

47:28 – Panelist: If you want to setup a Meetup then go to…

47:45 – Panelist: I bet if you went to a Meet up and said you want to help – they would love that.

47:59 – Panelist: Yes, do something that is valuable. But events you will have a budget. Is it important to have money afterwards or try to break even?

48:38 – Joe: I think having money after the conference is just fine. The #1 thing is that if you are passionate about the project then you will make decisions to get that project out there.

I can’t spend 500+ hours on something that it won’t help me pay my mortgage.

51:29 – Panelist: It’s not greedy to want money.

51:46 – Panelist: It’s a very thankless job. Many people don’t know how much effort goes into a conference. It’s a pain. People like Joe will put in 90 hours a week to pull off a conference. It’s a very, very difficult job.

53:42 – Panelist: Question to Divya.

54:00 – Divya: I have only been speaking for about a year now. For me, I feel this need to speak at different events to get my name out there. You wan the visibility, access to community and other benefits. These things trump the speaker’s fee. As I get more experience then I will look for a speaker’s fee. This fee is a baseline to make sure that you are given value for your time and effort. Most conferences do pay for your hotel and transportation.

56:58 – Panelist: How much is worth it to me to go and speak? Even if at the lower level; but someone who is a luminary in the field (John Papa). But for me it’s worth it. I am willing to spend my own dime.

58:14 – Panelist: John?

58:37 – John: You learn the most when you listen. I am impressed on your perspectives. Yes, early on you’ve got to get your brand out there.

It’s an honor to speak then I’m honored.

Do I have time?

Will my family be okay if I am gone 3-4 days?

Is this something that will have an impact in some way?

Will I make connections? Will I be able to help the community?

There is nothing wrong with saying I need to be paid X for that speech.

It’s all of the blood, sweat, and tears that go into it.

1:01:30 – Panelist chimes in.

I run conferences we cannot even cover their travel costs. Other conferences we can cover their travel costs; and everything in-between. There is nothing wrong with that.

1:02:11 – You have to be financially sound. Many of us do workshops, too.

1:02:59 – How do you get paid for podcasting?

1:03:11 – Chuck: I do get crap for having ads in the podcast. Nobody knows how much editing goes into one episode. It takes money for hosting, and finding guests, and it costs through Zoom. The amount of time it takes to produce these 12 shows is time-consuming. If you want to get something sponsored. Go approach companies and see. Once you get larger 5-10,000 listeners then that’s when you can pay your car payment. It’s a labor of love at first.

The moral is that you WANT to do what you are doing.

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