Next on Layer5 Meet the Maintainer’s series, we have Jash Patel. Jash is a Computer Science undergraduate at the Indian Institute of Technology and a maintainer for the Layer5 website - Service Mesh Performance and Service Mesh Landscape. He works with React, Gatsby, Jekyll, and Discourse and loves contributing to Open Source.

Ruth:

Jash, thank you for joining me today. Many people inside and outside of the Layer5 Community have seen the effects of your contributions but may not know the backstory as to who Jash is and how you arrived at your maintainer role. Indulge us. How did you come across the Layer5 community? What made you stay?

Jash:

Back in August 2020, I was looking for an open-source organization. I found my friend Tanuj was part of Layer5, and I thought of joining it. I jumped onto my first community call, and Whoo! It was so smooth. I was delighted to see the overwhelming response of the community. I loved the way the community encouraged every newcomer to their first contribution. After that, I never looked back. I still remember my first community meeting in which I introduced myself, highlighting my interests in React. The response was Lee giving an overly positive reaction.

Ruth:

I can totally relate to how amazing the Layer5 onboarding process is unique! Layer5 Projects has many active, open-source projects. You’ve been consistently contributing to a few of them. Which one(s) are you currently focusing on? Psst. Also, which one’s your favorite? I won’t tell.

Jash:

I started contributing to docs and soon dived into Layer5 websites. While I have worked on almost all websites, t (a little in some). The next generation Layer5 website (built on Gatsby) was the site I worked on the longest. We recently launched this new site (it takes a lot to launch a website). Currently, I am working on enhancements to the website and on Layer5’s upcoming discussion forum. I think, after this, you would already know my favorite one.

Ruth:

Definitely, winks! Have you worked with any other open source project? How does Layer5 compare?

Jash:

I am a part of my college’s open-source organization. I have contributed to and also have mentored a few open-source projects there. Open source is always fun - it doesn't matter where you do it. The difference I found here was the vast and diverse community that was missing there. Also, exposure to different technologies was advantageous for me.

Ruth:

You know for me, coming to The Next Generation Layer5 Website was done in the space of 6 months which is really impressive. How was the team able to pull that off?

Jash:

It was a pretty big task. Many people have worked on it(At the time of launch we had 140 contributors). It started with Tanuj and me, and then got many hands to help us and strive towards its completion. I can’t write all those names, or else it would take an entire page to note them down. And this is what communities are meant for; open source is intended for. It was a combined effort, and we worked on almost everything. The team worked on Gatsby, GraphQL, SEO, Analytics, and anything related to the website. The two mentors Lee and Nikhil , were quite helpful for the team to bring it through 6 months.

Ruth:

It’s amazing you are in school and still actively contribute to Layer5, how are you able to multitask it?

Jash:

I once mentioned that while my exams were going on, I would study the entire day, and when I took breaks, I would just open up Github and work on some minor issues. If you are interested in it, you will find a way, I would say. This is what helped me. One of the advantages of being in such a diverse environment is that when you are stuck somewhere, the work doesn't stop, some other contributor picks it up, and it goes on.

Ruth:

I’m really curious, what does being a Layer5 maintainer mean to you? How has being a maintainer impacted you?

Jash:

I still remember my first pull request being reviewed. And now I am on the other side, reviewing requests. Being a maintainer was a rollercoaster of an experience to me. You don’t just review PRs and point out changes, but you also have to think of fixes for them. The evolution of green to purple is the joy every open-source contributor wishes to see. And me being the one doing it makes me feel good. Being a maintainer adds responsibility on the one hand and gives freedom on the other hand.

Ruth:

I really picked a lot of points on that! Do you have any advice for individuals hoping to become Layer5 contributors or potentially maintainers?

Jash:

My advice would be to not look for becoming something. I never thought of becoming a maintainer. You just enjoy whatever you are doing, and when the time comes, you will get it. Being a maintainer is always special, but what's more critical is contributing healthily. A maintainer was always a contributor first, and it is that experience that sails them through. I have already recommended many of my friends and would like to share it with you; if you want to learn open source, Layer5 is the place. We, as a community, are always excited to have more people on board and learning something new from here. I would love to share the stage with you shortly.

Ruth:

That was some great advice there and tips! Thanks, Jash for all you do for the community. It’s lovely having you as a maintainer.

Ruth:

That was some great advice there and tips! Thanks, Jash for all you do for the community. It’s lovely having you as a maintainer.

Jash is an impactful contributor and a kind-hearted maintainer. His story is special, but not unique. Take Jash’s advice and engage in our uplifting community. Write your own story. Join the Layer5 Community. Be like Jash, Join the Layer5 Community!

"Be like Jash." Join the Layer5 Slack and say hi.

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