I love hearing other developers recounting the story of how a project has started and evolved. There is so much to learn from others and what they experienced. I find it especially fascinating when the story is being told in an informal setting, allowing for anecdotes and personal insights to surface.

So I recently decided to build a blog where I collect interviews from open source contributors, How did it start?.

While having coworkers recounting those stories is a common occurrence when working in the software industry, meeting and hearing about open source projects can be a much rarer one if not previously involved in open source or if not being able to attend social events like meetups or conferences.

How did you become a contributor? How do you find time to work on it? How did it start? Those are questions whose answers are often inspiring and motivating and gives a unique perspective on how others are achieving their work.

I wanted to read more of those, and not only about famous people behind incredibly popular projects with thousands of stars.

What is the story of that person that has stacked more than 1000 commits on a niche project over eighteen months and gradually built a small community of contributors? What led this new core contributor to take responsibility for a ten years old codebase with thousands of users?

I thought that others might enjoy reading those stories as well, so I bought howdiditstart.dev where I am publishing interviews from people working in open source.

I went for written interviews, first because it’s more accessible than a podcast and secondly because it makes it possible to produce the content in an asynchronous fashion, so I can slip in the interview in people already busy schedules.

There are two interviews published so far and a few others in the making! If you have some feedback, I’d love to hear about it (you can reach me over Twitter, DMs are open).