Contributing to the Erlang Ecosystem. My Journey from Individual Contributor to Maintainer

Benjamin Philip


Lately the Erlang Ecosystem has grown to address many new domains. But is its community growing enough to support it? My experience as a new contributor may shed light on this.

I’m a 16 year old student who started contributing to the Livebook, Hexpm and Nx projects at 14. Since then I’ve grown from being a raw newbie to receiving funding from The EEF to work on packages that will support Erlang’s telemetry implementation.

Join me as I talk about my challenging transition and see how I:

  • overcame my fear of the opensource community
  • learned to work with other members
  • found more meaningful ways to contribute
  • learned to balance my contributions with my other priorities

If you’re new to the community, you’ll learn how to get started and grow in the community - even if you have as little experience as i did.

Maintainers will see how the community helped me to make valuable contributions, how it got in my way, and how my experiences can help their projects.

OBJECTIVES: This talk has 2 major objectives:

  • Convince more people to get involved in the Erlang Community by illustrating how easy and effortless it is to make valuable contributions - no matter your background
  • Show maintainers and community leaders what elements of the community ethos enabled even a teenager to contribute, and what elements were a stumbling block

If you are interested in growing in the community, expect to also learn:

  • How to find projects to help out with and contributions to make
  • How to build relationships with other members of the community
  • How to balance your opensource work with other aspects of your life

AUDIENCE: This talk is targeted at people:

  • who would like to get started with contributing to the Erlang Ecosystem
  • looking to grow in the community while maintaining a work-life balance
  • maintainers who would like to grow their projects
  • leaders of the community interested in a unique perspective

Introductory and overview