It's no secret that open source maintenance has its dark sides, and one of these is having to sometimes interact with quite ungrateful, entitled or outright toxic people. As a project's popularity increases, so does the frequency of this kind of interaction, adding to the burden shouldered by maintainers and possibly becoming a significant risk factor for maintainer burnout.
I've been maintaining a quite popular project for almost ten years straight now, and had to develop the one or other coping strategy to deal with these interactions, in order to not let them drag me down and negatively affect my motivation and mental health. In this talk I want to first give a classification of the most common forms of bad and toxic behaviour I've seen, and then share my personal approach to dealing with them, explaining why this has worked for me along the line.
In the end, the viewer should take away some concrete advice on how to handle possibly volatile interpersonal situations in the context of an open source project without compromising on their own mental well-being.
Gina is a passionate code monkey, gamer, hobby baker, and creator and maintainer of OctoPrint. She has always been in love with code, and loves tinkering and helping others. Gina has written open source software for most of her adult life and has been in the lucky position to do it full time - and 100% crowdfunded by the community for her project OctoPrint for several years.