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Gareth Coles
@gdude2002

Open-source development and community management

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I'm a long-time open-source developer and community manager, supporting and running open-source projects and their communities since 2010.

I firmly believe that we can make a positive impact on people's lives by providing inclusive communities, excellent FOSS projects and a positive attitude to the world.

Community management

Community management is my primary specialization. I believe in transparent, inclusive community management, with a moderation style that treats people fairly while still prioritizing safety - especially when it comes to minority groups. Community management must be done in cooperation with the community itself - after all, community managers are here to serve the community, not the other way around.

Some examples of my work here include:

  • All QuiltMC community spaces
    • QuiltMC is an open-source, community-run Minecraft mod-loader. It exists to solve the many problems in the Minecraft mod-loading scene - governmental, social, and otherwise. Ownership is distributed, and community management is transparent.
  • The Glowstone Discord server
    • The Glowstone project is a clean-room Minecraft server implementation, primarily supporting Bukkit plugins. It's a relatively old project that's been a while and, despite the slow speed of development (it's always hard to find contributors for a project like this), I consider it an important project.
  • All Kotlin Discord spaces
    • Kotlin Discord is a community I've been running for some time now. While it has yet to officially launch, it has a small community of Kotlin developers that help each other out, and it's home to one of my FOSS projects - Kord Extensions. This community prides itself on providing a friendly place for Kotlin developers of all levels of experience to chat, work together, and help each other out.

Open-source work

The FOSS community is a fantastic one, if heavily opinionated. Everyone relies on FOSS projects in one way or another, and it's important to give back to the FOSS community when you can. In particular, I'm a big fan of designing human-friendly APIs and libraries - but this is a huge space.

Some examples of my work here include:

  • Kord Extensions, a large, batteries-included Discord bot framework for Kotlin, building upon the excellent Kord project. This is my current pet project, and I'm thrilled with how it's developed over time - even going so far as to provide features (such as i18n support) that no other Discord bot framework seems to have.
  • TeamJM's repositories, part of a proprietary project (JourneyMap) that I'm working with another maintainer to rewrite and open-source components for. The end goal here is to have a fully open-source project, but licensing issues mean that we have to take this one component at a time.

Other things

My contributions to the internet span many spaces and purposes. Here's a few other examples of what I get up to:

  • Advocacy for minority groups in community spaces, especially the LGBT community, plural systems (explainer) and people with disabilities
  • Coordination of (and support for) moderation teams across communities, providing dedicated spaces for community management teams to communicate, collaborate and support each other
  • Provision of low-to-mid-complexity infrastructure support for the projects I help with, including helping them host their services and manage their domains and bots
  • The running and maintaining of smaller communities for people that need somewhere safe to be online

Thanks!

Thanks for stopping by! As always, I'm hugely thankful to the people who support me and my work, in all forms - not just monetary. While the work I do is difficult, nuanced and time-consuming, I also find it quite rewarding and fulfilling. If I could do it full-time, then I absolutely would - supporting me on Liberapay or other platforms helps me to dedicate more time to making the world better, in a job market that doesn't appreciate good community management.

Whether you donate here, are here to read up on what I do, or are just a curious denizen of the internet, I appreciate you for who you are. Keep being the best you can be, and we can all make our spaces more positive!

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