How to find people interested to participate in a brand-new open-source project?


I recently set up an open-source infrastructure for Obix.

Obix is a new, object-oriented programming language designed to help people writing more reliable code in less time. More information can be found at

The open-source infrastructure is currently composed of:

  • a source code repository at Github
  • a bug tracker at Google code
  • a discussion forum at Google groups

I would now like to find people interested to participate in Obix 's open-source community. As I don't have experience with this, I'd like to ask:

  1. Which are the best internet sites and magazines to announce open-source projects like Obix?
  2. What is the best way to get people interested to participate in this brand-new project (send feedback, contribute code, maintain the community and documentation, etc.)

Thanks a lot for your help.

Recruiting Community Open Source Promotion People

asked Apr 20 '11 at 17:05
Christian Neumanns
11 points
Top digital marketing agency for SEO, content marketing, and PR: Demand Roll

4 Answers


I can see a problem here: developing a programming language is not something every developer can do, so it will be harder to find contributors for this project than for any other open-source application. That said, Ruby was actually created in a solo project, so who knows, it might be successful.

I suggest you to have one killer feature that many developers will find vital (although I can't come up with one right now), and make the language usable in small contexts like scripts (it seems already like that), so the adoption barrier is low, and make your website extremely clear and attractive, so it looks like something real and big.

Keep also in mind that open-source project work on time, not money, and that finding committed contributors is extremely hard. For an application, occasional contributors are fine, but for a programming language you'll probably need a small team of developers that are willing to put time into the project regularly for months (or probably years). My idea would be to start with your friends and colleagues. I would also poke around programmers websites like Code Project and discuss about the project.

answered Apr 20 '11 at 17:22
655 points
  • Good advice! Thank you. – Christian Neumanns 12 years ago


Getting committed developers to contribute to your own open-source software project is a very difficult task. Many open-source developers, by their nature, tend to want to run their own show rather than join someone else's project.

For example, let me ask you a question. Why did you decide to start your own computer language rather than help improve the many, many open-source computer languages out there? Surely, at least some existing languages could be modified to have the benefits of the language you are developing.

If you want people to join your community, you first need to be a part of other communities and make the case that your project is worth their time. The top-ranked answer to this question has a lot of great ideas. You probably already know the relevant communities for computer language design.

answered Apr 20 '11 at 23:01
1,936 points
  • Before creating Obix, I thoroughly analyzed all popular languages and I was finally very convinced that no language was designed to implement all the ideas I had in mind in order to accomplish the main goal of Obix, namely to help writing more reliable code in less time, thereby reducing development and maintenance cost (see I also concluded that no language could be modified to realize all the benefits, without fundamental redesign and rewriting from scratch. Thanks for your help, and for the link to other great ideas. – Christian Neumanns 12 years ago


You basically have a marketing / sales expercise on your hands, but they aren't parting with money, they are parting with time.

You need to be the spokesman for the idea. There are a lot of podcasts out there, listened to a lot of geeks ...

My world is in the .NET space and per week I listen to:

  • .NET rocks
  • Deep Fried Bytes
  • BayCHI Podcast
  • Elegant Code
  • Hanselminutes
  • Herding Code
  • IT Conversations
  • O'Reilly News
  • Pluralcast
  • Polyphnic Podcast
  • Sparkling Client
  • Talking Shop downunder
  • tech nation
  • The Thirsty Developer

If your language is good and can be put on the .NET framework (as an IronObix) then you could approach a lot of these guys. They have interviewed a lot of open source guys, langauge developers etc.

There are an equal number of JVM centric podcasts if that is more your thing.

Basically if you get one of these shows you will have a huge audience and you may inspire a few people to either work with you or port it to the JVM OR .NET OR you might get the attention of the MONO team which would be very worthwhile for you.

answered Apr 21 '11 at 14:00
Robin Vessey
8,394 points
  • I'll have a look at all the podcasts you recommend. Obix currently runs on the Java platform (JVM), but it could be adapted to run on other platforms, because Obix was designed with this flexibility in mind. Thanks. – Christian Neumanns 12 years ago


A good read to start is How to Run a Successful Free Software Project. You'll find advise on how to start.

Use the Freshmeat web site to advertise your project, get viewers and maybe contributors.

answered Apr 21 '11 at 15:01
201 points
  • I've read the book you mention. It is very well written and contains excellent advice. I've also created a project entry at Freshmeat and I'll post an additional message. Thank you. – Christian Neumanns 12 years ago

Your Answer

  • Bold
  • Italic
  • • Bullets
  • 1. Numbers
  • Quote
Not the answer you're looking for? Ask your own question or browse other questions in these topics:

Recruiting Community Open Source Promotion People