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What motivates open source maintainers?

Luis Villa
by Luis Villa
on December 13, 2018

Updated on December 14, 2018

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When you download a new open source package, how much time do you spend much time thinking about the person who actually wrote the code?

Today, there is so little friction involved in starting a new project that you can be off and coding before you know it. Yet behind every open source package, there are hundreds of dependencies (type “create-react-app hello-world" and watch the packages scroll by) and each of them has real people who took the time to sit down and write that piece of code you are using.

Why did they do it? And more importantly, why do many of them keep maintaining that code so that you can continue to use it in the future?

In this short video, my Tidelift co-founders and I explore what motivates open source maintainers. Why do they continue to create and maintain the software that forms the backbone of our shared technology infrastructure? And what else can we, as users of this software, do to ensure they are motivated to continue their important work?


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