Maintainers Anonymous Cover Art

How can we work together to achieve a common goal: whether in our code, cities, or infrastructure? Henry Zhu chats with fellow maintainers across all disciplines of life on their process, motivations, and struggles as they learn in public.

Apple Spotify Google RSS GitHub

MA 16: Philip Gee (#3) on Life After Digital Death

September 23, 2020 • 33 min 🎧 • Season 2

What's life after removing yourself from social media? Philip Gee joins Henry (the last in the trilogy) to chat about LAT, life after Twitter. We discuss being irrelevant, forcing yourself to think about different things, treating a newsletter like email, restraining your growth, moving to the digital suburbs, engaging with the past, directing your attention and production, being particular and local, making it normal again to not have to create. (recorded in July)

MA 15: Philip Gee (#2) on Unlisting Yourself

September 16, 2020 • 46 min 🎧 • Season 2

Why would you choose to leave the public internet on your own terms? Philip Gee joins Henry (for the 2nd time) to chat about his recent choice to make a minimal public web presence after being on the web for many years. We discuss the logistics of removing social media (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube), moving to longer forms of media (podcasts, essays, books), making introductory content, recognizing different stages of your career, being out of touch, freeing your mind for the next thing, not being ashamed of previous work, taking time to reflect, and friction. (recorded in May)

MA 14: Open Knowledge

September 02, 2020 • 54 min 🎧 • Season 2

What does it mean to be code adjacent? Shawn Wang joins Henry to chat about not just open code but open thinking with his experience in community managing, the idea of tumbling, moderating /r/reactjs, starting the Svelete Society meetup, documenting and learning in public, being historians of our field, fresh notes vs. awesome lists, the meta language, and adoption curves. (recorded in June)

MA 13: Jordan Scales on Nostalgia and Not Taking Yourself Too Seriously

May 26, 2020 • 76 min 🎧 • Season 2

Why attempt to faithfully recreate the past? Jordan Scales joins Henry to chat about design systems, being pixel perfect, accessibility, the Microsoft Windows User Experience reference manual, using VMs, MSPaint and Figma, whimsy and having fun with coding, creating satire at no one's expense, and even how Babel's Guy Fieri meme could of been Jeff Goldblum in another universe.

MA 12: Maggie Appleton on Embodiment Through Metaphors

May 13, 2020 • 54 min 🎧 • Season 2

Is programming all digital or do we still have embodied roots? How does this affect how we write, teach, and learn code? Maggie Appleton joins Henry again to discuss everything metaphors (basically everything). We chat about mental models and abstraction, Polanyi, Cartesian dualism, auto ethnography, knowledge, cats!

MA 11: Maggie Appleton on Open Source as a Gift Economy

March 05, 2020 • 55 min 🎧 • Season 2

Is the open source community a gift economy? What even is a gift? Maggie Appleton joins Henry to discuss open source as a gift economy (versus a market economy), why we participate in open source and exchange gifts, rituals and habits, patronage and crowdfunding, quantified self and disembodiment, our role in tech

MA 10: Jonathan Farbowitz on the Commitment to Infinite Uptime

July 15, 2019 • 75 min 🎧 • Season 2

How should we think about saving something forever? Jonathan Farbowitz (Guggenheim) continues the on-going discussion of software preservation with Henry in talking about the goals of museums, the hard (and maybe impossible) task of keeping something intact, the norms and steps of conservation, comparing physical and digital artwork, the importance of authors in conserving a piece, emulation vs. language porting (rewrites), a discussion about an art's 'dependencies', possibly adding automated testing, and deprecations/breakages in environments/standards.

MA 9: Wendy Hagenmaier on Preserving the (Digital) Past

July 08, 2019 • 42 min 🎧 • Season 2

In our excitement to develop products for the future do we neglect the past? Wendy Hagenmaier (Georgia Tech) discusses with Henry on the importance of maintaining our history, especially in software itself. They chat all about archival: what is it, what should concern an archivist, differences b/t physical/digital, artifacts/process, value/worth of things to preserve, struggles, places where archival can happen (personal, libraries, companies, museums), and our shared responsibility and knowledge.

MA 8: Anthony Giovannetti on Mastery and Learning through Games

June 21, 2019 • 57 min 🎧 • Season 2

Why play or even make games? Anthony Giovannetti (MegaCrit) joins Henry to chat building the video game Slay the Spire with the community. They discuss games an a interactive medium, immersion, player incentives/tradeoffs, emergent gameplay through roguelikes (procedural generation, permadeath), player mastery/difficulty, Steam early access, user feedback, importance of testing, data-informed balancing, and player accessibility driving features via streaming, translations, and UX.

MA 7: Philip Gee On Growing Old with the Web

May 31, 2019 • 64 min 🎧 • Season 2

Do we learn in a vacuum, or does it involve our whole selves? Philip Gee (UC San Diego) joins Henry to chat about maintaining a web presence since its beginnings. We discuss some of the points made in Nadia's post on ideas carrying us forward, even beyond what we are known for, the greater intimacy of podcasts and vlogs, attaching ideas to people, science as subjective vs. purely objective and in community, knowledge as opening up possibilities, embracing whimsy and being random (haircut podcasts), embracing spontaneity and cities, understanding our bodies and mortality and it's relation to our digital lives and rest.

MA 6: Jory Burson on the Significance of Standards

May 24, 2019 • 65 min 🎧 • Season 2

Why should we standardize? Jory Burson (Bocoup) joins Henry to talk open source and standards: what they are, why we need them, what should be standardized, lifecycles of standards, past/future accessibility of participating in the process, and more!

MA 5: Evan You on Funding One's Freedom

May 06, 2019 • 86 min 🎧 • Season 2

How can we be free? Evan You (Vue.js) chats with Henry about the complexities of funding people vs. projects, non-monetary perks of oss, Patreon potentially just a payment processor, the honing in on the uniqueness of open source (being free, flexible, organic/emergent, self-motivated, distributed/remote), full time not being for everyone, the importance of side projects and off-pressure moments and just having fun.

MA 4: Mikeal Rogers on Getting Old in Open Source

April 29, 2019 • 83 min 🎧 • Season 2

How old is open source anyway? Mikeal Rogers (Protocol Labs) joins Henry in talking about making friends through podcasting, conference organizing as maintainer-ship, patronage and fundraising, old/new school open source, deprecating packages and ecosystem health, new ideas and becoming a maintainer by being the 'first', and parenting!

MA 3: Stephanie Hurlburt on Perception of Value

April 19, 2019 • 55 min 🎧 • Season 2

What do we treasure? Stephanie Hurlburt (Binomial) joins again to chat about inherent vs. perceived value, success breeding success, psychology around hiding information, code versus money, a holistic/explicit view of business, everything as marketing, confidence, money as idolatry, the nature of giving, our biases around people/status, people want to see you succeed, communicating how people can help you. (recorded in February)

MA 2: Stephanie Hurlburt on Boundaries

April 12, 2019 • 49 min 🎧 • Season 2

How is business development relevant to open source? Stephanie Hurlburt (Binomial) joins Henry to chat about understanding learnings from success, setting health boundaries, what 'networking' really means, conversations/pitching, and more! (recorded in February)

MA 1: Omnigamer on Speedrunning as Research

April 10, 2019 • 87 min 🎧 • Season 2

What's beyond simply beating a video game? Henry is joined by Eric 'Omnigamer' Koziel to chat about speedruning as an optimization problem (code golf), game knowledge as discovery, access as a result of technology, issues of game preservation/archival, coordination issues, obscure/popular games, versioning/patches, and more! (recorded in January. Since then, Eric has a new book out, Speedrun Science)