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I have a number of open-source projects that have gotten some significant usage and would like to find co-maintainers so that I am not a bottleneck when it comes to maintenance and support requests and to get other perspectives on how the project should evolve.

Where should I look for co-maintainers, what should I look for in a co-maintainer, and how should I go about bringing them up to speed on the code and maintainer responsibilities?

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closed as not constructive by gnat, Walter, ChrisF Nov 9 '12 at 16:24

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3 Answers

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I think that you should probably start by looking for people to contribute patches to the project(s) first. That way you get an idea how good they are as coders and whether or not you trust them enough to want them as a co-maintainer.

Something I've seen discussed on the mailing lists for Debian is the idea of making small, simple, bite-sized tasks, so that people can easily get their feet wet. The idea is that some programmer who uses your project will stop by the website, see that something simple needs doing and think to themselves, "Hey, I can do that, that's easy."

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You could post notification on your projects site about wanting more contributors. If you get a lot of usage but no contributions, one reason could also be that there is difficulty in getting to know the project. Is the project easy to build? Is it easy to get to know the code? Is architecture and conventions of the codebase documented etc.

If your projects are based on Microsoft technologies you could also try posting on Project Openings on CodePlex

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Symmetry.

Are you contributing to someone else's projects?

That could be a very good place to find co-developers.

Alternatively, another way to perpetuate a project where I felt like I had made my big contributions might be to fold it into a competing project.

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