Tobias Pfeiffer

Likes to work with people

Tobi is a developer, leader, benchmarker, Rubyist, Elixir fan, learner, teacher and agile crafter by passion. He loves collaboratively creating just about anything people enjoy - be it the Ruby User Group Berlin, SimpleCov, benchee or other projects while thinking about new ideas to push boundaries.

What’s it like to work on Open Source projects? They’re all the same, aren’t they? No, they’re not - the longer I work on Open Source the more I realize how different the experience and feeling are for each one of them.

Walk with me through some stories that I experienced in Open Source, the friends made and the lessons learned along the way. This should help you take your first steps in open source, be it as a contributor or maintainer as well as provide some useful insights even for more seasoned Open Source developers.


* Give people a realistic example of what working in Open source is like
* do so via my personal story and projects I’ve contributed to or maintained, which are hopefully relatable
* putting a bigger focus on the most relevant project for Elixir: Benchee
* Encourage people to contribute to Open Source and help the community
* make it known how much every little contribution is valued, to take away the fear of contributing
* Give people tips as well as gotchas for interacting with Open Source during everyday work
* the risks of forking
* the pitfalls of open-sourcing company code (maintenance etc)


Mostly people that have contributed little or not at all to Open Source. However, it is also relevant to people with a medium amount of contributions. And even further, I believe people in Open Source for a long time can learn from some of the lessons I learned and at the very least relate and be entertained.

The spectrums that I will not hit are probably:
* people who do not want to interact with Open Source in any way and whose minds can not be changed, who also don’t care about the lives of the authors of the tools they use
* people working only in large-scale Open Source projects (most I ever actively maintained was ~3 active maintainers) as I do not have that experience

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