During my first internship at Puppet in 2012, I teamed up with two other interns, Ruth Linehan and Tesca Fitzgerald, to give a beginner’s overview of how to become an open source contributor to Puppet and Facter. The talk was aimed at members of the Puppet open source community who were interested in making open source code contributions but were overwhelmed by the process of doing so. The three of us walked through the step by step process of finding an issue, submitting a patch, going through review, and finally having your contribution merged.
Because our process for addressing open source contributions regularly changed as our community grew, Ruth Linehan and I decided to team up again to give a modified version of our 2012 talk. This time we gave a talk about more general code contributions rather than ones specifically for Puppet and Facter, but we still outlined the talk as a walkthrough of all the steps of making a code contribution.
To kick off the 2015 PuppetConf Contributor’s Summit, I worked with fellow engineer Morgan Haskel to give a much briefer and more condensed version of the talks I had given at previous PuppetConfs. This talk was a high level overview of the process rather than a detailed tutorial, and was more about providing resources and places to start.
As the primary engineer leading and working on Puppet Strings, a new automated documentation tool, I gave a brief presentation at the Portland Puppet User Group to help introduce it to the community. I gave an overview of what Puppet Strings was, how it was built, why we were replacing our previous tool, and the roadmap for Puppet Strings going forward.
In 2015 I was given the opportunity to speak alongside three other women at Puppet about my personal experiences as a woman in tech. The theme of the talks was “raising your voice”, so I chose to talk about how challenging myself through public speaking helped me to overcome my anxiety of speaking in front of a crowd. I was able to grow from someone who could barely stand in front of a crowd without blacking out to a seasoned public speaker by pushing myself to do things that scared me. This not only helped build my confidence in public speaking, but in pretty much all other areas of my professional life as well. I talked about how I learned that sometimes my greatest obstacle is myself, and encouraged others to grow by challenging themselves to get out of their comfort zones.
At Open Source Bridge 2016 I teamed up with Morgan again, this time to give a talk about open source aimed at the other side of the equation: community maintainers. We talked about what we have done at Puppet as maintainers to make sure that we are enabling and supporting our community to contribute, and the processes we have developed internally to help keep track of everything. We also discussed maintainer burnout, working with difficult contributors, and helping to maintain a good relationship between maintainers and community members.