Update: The results are now available! https://seankilleen.com/2022/01/announcing-the-net-oss-maintainer-support-survey/

Summary: Are you a maintainer of, or large contributor to, an OSS project in .NET? Please take the survey about how we in the community can better support you. (it’s also at the bottom of this article.)

I’ve long been passionate about supporting open source software in the .NET community – and supporting those who give us their time, effort, and expertise to make it happen.

I’ve seen a lot of calls from various areas in the community asking how we can better support maintainers. As I’ve been thinking about my own impact map for how to encourage our community to support maintainers (more on that in a future post), one thing that’s become clear is there appear to be no good data for how supported .NET OSS maintainers feel in various ways and how they’d like to be supported. How do we know we’re making an impact if we’re not measuring these things?

So, that’s what I’m setting out to change. I’ve compiled the first edition of the .NET OSS Maintainer Support Survey.


Where can I find the survey?

The survey can be found at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdMvnARfsQ6vgrgaRK-fzR80zXDKfAL2eJUhA_aD7EFjAX8ew/viewform?usp=sf_link.

I’m also embedding it at the bottom of this post.

Who Should Submit a Response?

Anyone who is a large contributor to or maintainer of an OSS project in .NET.

Who’s running this survey?

Just me as an individual. My employer, Excella is pretty awesome and supports me doing things like this but this isn’t officially through them, either.

Who are you to be doing this? What do you get out of it?

I’m a Microsoft MVP and long-time fan of OSS. I’ve contributed to various projects, and I’m currently the maintainer of the NUnit docs. Though I’m doing this as an individual, I am recently part of the .NET Foundation’s Maintainers Working Group.

I see this as a renewed first step toward ecosystem-wide improvements that I hope to drive; I want the data so we know how best to use our time. Yeah, I host it here and I’ll be tweeting about it, but if you know me then you know I’m not doing this for the publicity. (and if you doubt that, no worries; participation is optional!)

What will you do with the data?

  • I’m going to aggregate it, anonymize it, and share it with insights – I hope that this data can inform our community’s overall efforts.
  • I’ll use the contact information, with respondents’ permission, to follow up with them for more insight and attempt to include those insights alongside the data.
  • I’ll endeavor to perform this survey regularly so that we can start to understand trends.

How can I help?

  • Forward this to your favorite maintainer. Do not spam or mass message projects, but reach out to individuals. Let them know that you’d like their thoughts because it will hopefully be used to help them. Try to see if they’ve acknowledged or tweeted about it first so that you aren’t the 100th person to tell them.
  • Share this through your social media channels in the hopes that it reaches a wider audience.

Thanks for considering! Your voice is welcome in the comments.

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