Building the future through the power of developers

Building the future through the power of developers

Stormy Peters - Intro (00:00:17)

  • Introduced three developers impacting the world of software development.
  • Noted software complexity is increasing with 90% of new code relying on pre-existing open-source software.
  • Speakers are making it easier for developers by solving integration issues and creating financially viable solutions.
  • Highlighted the story of Django, an open-source software for data collection created by the first speaker to address journalists' needs to handle large data sets without being developers.

Simon Willison, Datasette - on how to make open source projects financially sustainable (00:03:47)

  • Discussed the challenge of making a living as an independent open-source developer.
  • Developed Datasette, a toolset for data manipulation inspired by WordPress, using Python, with a growing ecosystem of over 128 plugins.
  • Expressed the desire to sustainably support himself and build a team to continue working on Datasette for the long term.
  • Initially supported the project at Stanford University as a fellow but then used savings and sporadic consulting to fund the work.
  • Described his continued passion for the project and the unique joy of seeing new features developed by the community through plugins.

Simon Willison on the GitHub Accelerator Fund (00:08:17)

  • Participated in GitHub's accelerator program, which focuses on the sustainability of open-source projects.
  • Learned from other projects that sponsorship management, content creation, hosted services, and enterprise licensing are viable revenue streams.
  • Warned against hosting solutions for solo developers due to high customer responsibility.
  • Chose the hosting route to make Datasette accessible to journalists, his target audience.
  • Benefited from Slide Audio's sponsorship, which provided resources to continue development.
  • Encouraged open-source software users to support projects by hiring maintainers for company talks and advocating the value of open-source maintenance from both the developer and user perspective.

Simon Willison on the idea of paying Maintainers to speak to your team (00:12:06)

  • Maintainers are too busy for hands-on consulting but can do hour-long Zoom calls
  • These talks are time-efficient ways for maintainers to share insights and earn money
  • Companies can support projects by paying for talks instead of direct donations
  • Training budgets can be utilized to funnel money to maintainers under consultancy agreements

Stormy Peters - intro to next speaker—Shanea Leven (00:13:30)

  • Stormy introduced Shanea Leven, a developer who created a tool for visualizing code dependencies
  • Her software helps understand how code components interact, which aids in onboarding and inheriting code from others
  • Leven saw the need for such a tool in her first job and created it to facilitate ease of learning and maintaining code

Shanea Leven - on enhancing the developer workflow (00:15:08)

  • Shanea Leven discusses the challenge of maintaining flow state when coding
  • Flow state is often disrupted by not understanding the codebase or system
  • Codebase knowledge encompasses the system structure, teamwork processes, and human cognition
  • Leven emphasizes that understanding a codebase is difficult due to constant changes in the system and inefficient traditional learning methods
  • AI's role in code generation makes it crucial to better understand codebases

Shanea Leven has 3 tips to stay in the flow (00:19:59)

  • Prioritize onboarding and use documentation that updates itself
  • Develop an understanding system for loading code into your head effectively
  • Onboarding helps with getting familiarized with the code and achieving early wins
  • Self-updating documentation should be linked to code and patterns should be labeled clearly
  • Review system documentation, learn team coding preferences and processes, and watch for tribal knowledge
  • Taking time for proper understanding can be challenging due to time constraints and workplace changes

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