Mentorship and Values in Open-Source Development

October 25th, 2019 · 48 mins 1 sec

About this Episode

How do you create meaningful change with open source software and what role does mentorship play?

In this episode, Joe Petrowski (Research Analyst, Parity) talks to Ben Kampmann (Core Developer, Parity) about the role of mentorship, learning, and values in the open-source community. They also discuss Open Tech School, a non-profit organization Ben created for open source education, as well as recent Substrate developments, including Substrate LFS (Large File Storage).

For more info on Ben Kampmann and his work, check out his recent People of Parity showcase on the Parity Technologies blog:

01:28 - The vast potential impact of these technologies
02:00 - Building for startups vs established teams, how to promote positive change
06:18 - Importance of economic considerations and incentives in blockchain engineering
09:09 - Role and importance of mentorship
15:00 - Dealing with constructive criticism vs negative criticism
18:10 - Importance of not trying to learn too much too fast
22:00 - Open Tech School
26:35 - Most important skills for quick pivoting
29:55 - Substrate and its value for developers
33:30 - Sustainable open source business models and the role of money
40:47 - Status of Polkadot and Substrate
43:37 - Substrate LFS
46:00 - Hacktoberfest

Ben on Github
Ben on Twitter

Key Quotes:

“Learning itself is a very hard job. You’re asking your brain to rewire itself.”

“Don’t believe that you can’t program because you don’t know logic or math. I didn’t study any of this either. And don’t give up.”

“You need to be willing to throw away what you know in order to learn.”