By Alex Reichert

The month of October happens to be “Hacktoberfest”, so we decided that for the next 31 days, our primary focus will be on the developer community around Papercups 🙂

What does this mean?

Well, maybe I should start with what this doesn’t mean — it doesn’t mean that we will be neglecting our existing users, or their problems and requests. Our users will always come first. (So if you’re a current consumer of the product, don’t worry! We haven’t forgotten about you ❤️)

What it does mean is that we want to set up some short term goals and features that will be fun and challenging to work on. Now, it would be easy to write up a bunch of tickets requesting help with setting up more of our docs, or handling much of the busywork involved in maintaining an open source project. But we don’t want to do that. (Unless this is something you enjoy, in which case… let us know!)

Instead, we want to build cool sh*t. We want to build our community. And, in the process, we’d love to build more excitement around the Elixir programming language.

Let’s break these down a bit 👉

Building cool sh*t

We want to put some exciting new features on the roadmap that developers will find both fun and challenging to work on. (If you’re looking to do small string changes or updates to READMEs, you’ll probably want to go find another repo!)

What do we think sounds exciting? Well, we have a few ideas so far, based on requests from existing customers:

We also have a few “crazier” ideas — ideas that we haven’t gotten much feedback on yet, but that might just be a lot of fun to work on:

  • A live screen-sharing feature that lets you view your users as they engage with your website
  • Additional widgets for websites that handle asking for feedback, or alerting users to latest updates
  • A first-class integration with Google’s Dialogflow to make it super easy to set up a chatbot

Does any of that sound interesting to you? Have any other ideas? Let us know on Slack or in a feature request!

Building our community

We’ve only been working on Papercups for a couple months now, but so far we’ve received a ton of support — in particular from the Elixir community — around helping us get started. What we’ve built so far would have taken much, much longer if not for the great work by the developers of Phoenix, Pow, and Oban (just to name a few).

We want developers to have a similarly great experience with Papercups. In order to do this, we need to be explicit about our values:

  • We welcome all developers, both beginners and seasoned programmers alike
  • We treat everybody with respect, and expect other contributors to do the same — any disrespectful behavior will not be tolerated
  • We always assume positive intent in comments and code reviews
  • We will strive to make it as easy as possible to get started and contribute — this means great documentation, CI, test coverage, and APIs

In terms of goals for the month of October, we’d love to hit these numbers:

  • Unique new contributors: 50
  • PRs from new contributors: 100
  • GitHub stars: 3k

Building excitement around Elixir

I also want to use this month as an opportunity to build some excitement around the Elixir programming language. We only started learning it a few months ago, but it’s been a joy to work with.

I’d love to see Elixir grow in popularity, and contribute to that growth. So even if you’re just getting started on your Elixir journey, or haven’t even begun, don’t hesitate to reach out! We’d love to help you begin 🙂

In the meantime, if you haven’t already seen it, check out this excellent talk on “The Soul of Erlang and Elixir” by Saša Jurić:

Prepare to have your mind blown 🤯

Ready to get started?

Check out these links to begin! 🚀

Or, check out our lovely demo.

Posted on October 1, 2020