How I Transitioned from an Open Source Contributor to a Community Manager!

How I Transitioned from an Open Source Contributor to a Community Manager!

atinuke oluwabamikemi kayode
·Feb 21, 2022·

5 min read

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Introduction

@Hashnode said tell your story. Well, I have an exciting story to tell about my Open Source journey. I made a life-changing decision in 2021, and I have been reaping from it back to back. In this article, I will be talking about my open source journey and how I have moved from a contributor to a Community Manager within four months of consistently contributing and engaging.

How it Started

First thing first, I'd love to share the story of how I started my open-source journey and how I joined the Layer5 Community.

Unlike other stories, you might have heard of folks contributing to Open Source Software at their early career stage. I didn't do that, not that I didn't hear about open source, I did, I wasn't just confident enough to start contributing to another person's project; at least that was how I saw it then. I just ignored all the open-source gist I heard until late 2020 when I joined Layer5 through Ruth.

The welcoming community. 🤗

I was warmly welcomed in the community newcomers channel. After introducing myself, I'm confident I didn't say any word in the track afterward, Lol. I remembered filling out the membership form and suggesting some changes on the docs them which was implemented, that was intriguing, but I was timid about contributing and engaging.

I genuinely find it fascinating because that was the first time I'd be in a meeting/space of diverse people. It was phenomenal. I was shy to introduce myself and engage in the community.😊

Way to My First Pull Request (PR)🚀🚀

I started contributing to the projects but was not very consistent. I got my first Pull Request (PR) merged in Layer5 with the help of a MeshMates and a way to other PRs, then the burnout I wrote about in my 2021 year in review sets in.

You can read about how I overcame the burnout Here. It was terrible that I couldn't do anything related to tech, but it passed. After I fully recovered from the burnout, I started engaging more in the community, which was how it began. I gradually transitioned from a Contributor to a Community Manager.

It’s only after you’ve stepped outside your comfort zone that you begin to change, grow, and transform. ― Roy T. Bennett

Let's talk about Layer5

A friend of mine I recently introduced to the Layer5 Community called Layer5, a beautiful garden. I'm going to be borrowing that sentence and say, "Layer5 is a beautiful garden" The beautiful part of being in this community is that no matter who you are, you can always contribute to the community.

Who is Layer5?

Layer5 is the world's most extensive collection of service mesh practitioners and maintainers of leading open source projects. Projects that include:

  • Meshery

  • Nighthawk

  • Service Mesh Patterns

  • Service Mesh Interface

  • Service Mesh Performance

Layer5 Events and Programs

Did I mention that we are part of the CNCF organization? You can always join us in the following events:

  • KubeCon China

  • KubeCon North America

  • DevConf

  • Service Mesh Conf

  • Cloud-Native Conf

You check out our events Here We participate in Open Source Internship programs like:

  • Google Summer of Docs

  • Google Summer of Code

  • CommunityBridge

  • SheCodeAfrica Contributhon

  • Linux Foundation

  • MLH Fellowship Program

You can check out our career and program page Here

Layer5 Community

Layer5 community is created to build projects, provide learning environments, deployment, and operational best practices, performance benchmarks, complete documentation, share networking opportunities, and more. Our shared commitment to the Open Source spirit pushes Layer5 projects forward.

Layer5 is a beautiful garden because she provides an opportunity for any stack in the tech space to contribute to the Open Source Project. That was how I became part of the Community Managers.

We focus on helping the individual grow with our Learning path and Mentors otherwise known as MeshMates

MeshMates

Layer5 MeshMates are committed to helping community members be successful contributors. MeshMates aid in identifying areas of projects to engage within, working groups to join, and supporting community members grow in their open-source and cloud-native knowledge. By connecting one-on-one, MeshMates will share tips on having the best community experience possible.

What did I do?

I didn't just become a Community Manager overnight, lol. I engaged more in the community. Like:

  • Welcoming the members to the community

  • Onboarding new member

  • Laying my hands on the community projects

  • Attending meetings

  • Working on given tasks

Most importantly, I built a close relationship with the maintainers and the CEO because Layer5 is a beautiful garden. (Smile) You can check out the CEO on Twitter Lee Calcote

Layer5 is a community that embraces everyone. In other words, it practices inclusion and diversity. Whoever you are, you are welcome to the community.

What do I do now?

It's still all the same thing that I've been doing just more now. I have lightly added more to my roles. Like:

  • Organizing and planning events

  • Hosting events

  • Coordinating

  • Code Review

  • Creating and assigning issues on GitHub

  • Representing the community

  • Advocating for Open Source through the community

I've come to realize how much I love helping people, organizing, managing, building, showing empathy to the developers because I understand what they need. It has caused a switch of career for me which I so much enjoy now. It was a decision I had to make and it was life-changing.

Where do I see Myself?

I see myself building more tech communities, building community for Community Managers. A community that will focus on the best practice of Community Management, helping folks across Africa get into the Community Management space, Network, Resources, and Opportunities.

Conclusion

I didn't make a lot of coding contributions to get to the point I am right now, I contributed to the community in other ways that I can. Whether you are a product/project manager you can always make an impact in Open Source

If you ask me now, I will tell you I am Layer5 because I do not only manage the community, I represent the community in and outside. I am the community. On this note, I will be inviting you all to join our talented community slack channel I'd love to hear your feedback and comment.

Kindly reach out to me on Twitter @oluwabamikemi should there be any questions. You can also share your story using #MyOpenSourceStory. I will be looking forward to hearing about your story.

Cheers to doing amazing things in Open Source!

 
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