Long-term contributors

But you also want more permanent non-code contributions. Think tech writers, PXMs, or product managers, all have a great skill set your project can benefit from. Unfortunately, most of these people don’t really know that they, too, can be active members of the open source community.

Make these roles known and give people a hat so they know their contribution is valuable. That will also help prove to their employer that their work is valued. Even if the hat feels ceremonial to you, it may give them the business case to work on that project.

For these types of roles, the term “contributor ladder” isn’t helpful. While for code contributions it really is more of a ladder where you get increasingly more responsibilities and privileges, these non-code contributor roles are more like different buckets with every different – but just as important – skill sets.

For larger projects, different governance groups also fall under this category. The steering committee and various subcommittees all have very different skill sets that your project can benefit from.