Hackernoon logoHow to change your life by starting the development of the OpenSource project by@dmitriy.strukov

How to change your life by starting the development of the OpenSource project

Dmitriy Strukov Hacker Noon profile picture

@dmitriy.strukovDmitriy Strukov

Ruby Developer

Hi everyone! Probably you have already read my last article about creating an open source project and what advice I gave to newbies at the planning stage and starting work on the project.

More than half a year has passed since the writing of the article and the original idea was reborn into something new. Initially, the basic idea was to create a gem for making administrative panels, which are already a pretty decent amount of, but as a result, having started work on the project, I radically changed its concept, put a team together and a large amount of feedback from different target audiences.

What was done

I radically changed my priorities for the last 2 months, switched completely to the project because work for the third party gradually exhausted me and did not bring pleasure. A team:

  • Frontend developer
  • 4 Backend developers
  • Content manager

Every day we hold meetings, send reports to slack by means of geekbot, on work done by everyone and plans to do today. All project tasks are publicly available. Each task is associated with a specific branch and commit, thanks to the integration of the gitlab + pivotal tracker.

For error tracking and quick responding, we use rollbar + slack.

We closed 4 one-week sprints, not as fast as we wanted, but we are gradually moving towards this.

We are actively working with social networks and publish various activities on the project, which is bearing fruit.

What is the project purpose

The service helps website owners to reduce development costs, thanks to a fully dynamic structure and the capability to change the interface without any programming skills.

We want to help businesses increase profits and reduce costs, consider proposals for cooperation and partnership [email protected] The service is absolutely free, we will also help you to connect your application to the SimpleAdmin service!

We welcome Ruby developers of any level to our friendly team, who want to improve their skills and gain experience of working in a team. I am pleased to share all my knowledge and provide the opportunity for personal and professional growth.

How a team arranged

The project has 4 developers including me and the content manager. I don’t have any finance for professional and strong middle / senior developers, and I made a decision to recruit people for training and develop my own staff. At the same time, there is no strict adherence to the project, I transfer knowledge on a voluntary basis and a person decides how to manage it and where to work.

It is a separate topic of how to train people and how the training process takes place, but if briefly, we learn the basics of Ruby / Rails and testing. In addition to technical knowledge, an important part is soft skills, a person must be able to move out of the comfort zone, cope with stressful situations, be proactive and not stand still in self-development.

Social networks statistics

For two months, the total number of subscribers on Facebook is almost 961 people.

7 publications with information about updates of the project were made, the total audience coverage was 100,679, the number of actions taken with the posts was 314 (reposts, comments, clicks).

Statistics for the last month

For the sake of experiment, we registered the page on Instagram and simply duplicate the content. Statistics are more modest than on Facebook, but nonetheless.

Some analytics of website visits

Statistics by tasks

The total number of tasks currently completed is 71 (including bugs and tasks related to non-technical tasks).

The project is hosted on Gitlab, CI / CD is connected (autodeploy on Heroku). To measure the code quality and in order to avoid syntax errors, we involve Rubocop and Code climate, we began to cover the main features with tests (I see no reason to completely cover all the features with tests).

Feedback services

In search of free ways to get feedback and attract the audience, I ran into such a site as Producthunt. You can attract investors, customers, get feedback, but it should be borne in mind that all this will happen only if you are in the top (you should get about 300–500 votes in one day). I managed to get only 355 votes at the moment.

On Facebook, I get a lot of useful constructive information, which is worth working on.

I would like to share with you a list of services where you can post an idea or startup MVP. Most of the websites are free:

What about customers?

In short, at the moment we have no. Recently, we have drafted a commercial offer, which we actively send to potential customers, visit meetups, communicate with the business owners. The first page of the offer:


The hosting costs $14 per month, the commercial offer cost 15,000 rubles (~ $220), advertising on Facebook is 1,600 rubles per day (25$). The service for chatting with customers (https://www.drift.com/) and monitoring errors (https://rollbar.com) does not cost anything at this load. In total, each month the project takes about 30,000–40,000 (~600$) rubles for advertising and costs associated with the project directly (commercial offer).

Team members voluntarily work for free and perform tasks. The main motivation is in gaining experience and when we have customers — the development of passive income.

In addition to these issues, the previous post involved my personal financial issue. Every month I spent about half of my salary for the project and besides that, I invested in stocks, thanks to this I secured myself for several months in advance (4–6 months). I quit my job in one day, impulsively, and no longer wanted to spend time and energy on the development of other people’s ideas, it’s much more interesting for me to work on my project and concept.

What’s next?

In order to find the first customers and develop the concept, I’m ready for the first two years to have a profit of around zero or a small minus. The main goal, as at the very beginning, is to help the business and gain experience in a niche new for me.

Tips for newbies

To get started with the concept, it is necessary to get as much feedback as possible from the potential target audience, acquaintances, friends. If the concept hooked you and you didn’t lose interest in it after some time, and it is unique in your region or another, then you should write a task list (Trello, pivotal tracker).

Ask what features the target audience of the project would like to see in your service (* if it is not the target, feedback may be negative). Openly publish reports on what has been done and what features you plan to add in the future (blog and social networks).


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