Welcome to SourceHut!
SourceHut's mission statement is as follows:
We are here to make free software better. We will be honest, transparent, and empathetic. We care for our users, and we will not exploit them, and we hope that they will reward our care and diligence with success.
This is the philosophical ethos that underlies our business. This presents itself in the way we act. Because we are empathetic, we value accessibility, working to make our UI easy to use for anyone, or prioritizing performance on low-end hardware and networks, so that access to our software does not depend on income level. We are transparent, which motivates our public ops, financial reports, and the fact that this page is on a public wiki. We are honest, by telling users quickly and frankly when we make mistakes that affect them, and in explaining our incentives and motivations so they can make informed decisions about their relationship with us.
This extends to our internal culture as well. When we make mistakes or aren't sure what to do, we talk to each other about it, as an extension of our principle of honesty. We are empathetic, which is why we understand and forgive those mistakes, and care for each other as human beings before anything else. We have a steadfast commitment to integrity in all of our affairs that we hope can set an example for the industry as a whole, and it is our hope that you will keep these principles in mind in all of your work with SourceHut.
Think of SourceHut's engineering culture as a dynamic, mutual collaboration between equals, who aim to support each other in achieving our shared ambitions in free software. We have essentially attempted to reproduce the FOSS community's collaboration environment, and to some extent, governance model, in the context of a business.
Most SourceHut engineers choose their own work. You may work on the projects that you find interesting and important, at your own discretion, including projects which are not maintained by or in the direct interests of SourceHut. You can also choose your own tasks and priorities within those projects. The only caveat is that it must be free and open source software.
You must do this with an attitude that honors and values the feedback and advice of your peers, and seek to establish mutual trust. For example, junior engineers, and senior engineers who are junior to a new project or field, will generally be well-advised to seek the advice of the more experienced peers (be it fellow SourceHut staff, or the maintainers of a third-party project) regarding what tasks to work on. And likewise, those maintainers and mentors will honor and value your growth, experience, feedback, and opinions, to create a healthy balance of trust between participants.
Ask questions early. We are here to support each other. There is no shame in not being sure of what to do, struggling with a hard problem, or having made a mistake. The shame is in not trusting your peers to help.
In addition to proactively choosing to work on projects and tasks that you find important, you may also accept long-term responsibilities that you find important. A simple example of this is your long-term commitments as the maintainer of your personal FOSS projects, which you may have already made before even joining SourceHut. You will have similar opportunities to accept responsibilities in the future. For example, you may become responsible for various subsystems of sr.ht software, or in third-party projects, or have certain responsibilities to your peers and users, such as being on-call for infrastructure issues.
This is also done at your discretion, according to your wisdom on what responsibilities are important and suited to your skills. This is also a means by which you can build trust with your peers and the larger community, by being someone they can depend on.
We have a private channel on Libera.Chat at #sr.ht.staff, which you will be invited to. We also have the #sr.ht and #sr.ht.watercooler channels, which are open to the public and respectively handle forge support and SourceHut-adjacent discussions. Aim to use the right channel: if appropriate, many matters should be discussed in public, but we needn't bother these spaces with the day-to-day activities internal to SourceHut.
Also remember that you represent SourceHut when you communicate with the outside world — something you are expected to do often. Remember to be respectful, to remember the human, and to avoid flamewars. You are building a relationship with the community. This is not to say that you shouldn't stand by your principles, but to be respectful of those who disagree. Give your peers feedback, but remember to praise in public and criticise in private.
Everyone has a bi-weekly 1-on-1 meeting with their assigned mentor. This person is there to help you smooth along your work, lend you their ear when you ask for advice or are having trouble, and be your advocate to the broader organization. The scope and goals of these meetings is a matter for you and your mentor to agree upon, and it can evolve over time. This person is also your first stop for any formal businessy business, for anything you would talk to a manager about. They are not, however, a manager in the traditional sense, and don't have special authority over you.
We also have monthly all-hands meetings where we will discuss our long-term interests, matters relevant to the whole company, updates on interesting things that are being worked on, and so on.
Beyond this, meetings are established on an as-needed basis. For example, we may schedule meetings with consulting clients.
Informal planning is done in the meetings described above, but formal planning, such as ticket tracking, agile-style planning, and so on, is minimal at SourceHut. We find that formal systems are often the product of non-engineers wanting to boil their engineering teams down to numbers and apersonal measures of progress, which is not appropriate for an organization built on mutual trust and communication.
However, it is often useful to have some means of tracking the things on our mind and communicate our intentions to others. Many of the projects we work on have bug trackers, and mailing list archives are a good place to put proposals and RFCs. We leverage planning tools and systems as they are helpful for us to achieve our goals, and remove them when they are not. Work with your peers to figure out what works for your projects.
If you need time off, take it. It is important for you to be healthy and happy, and that means taking time off work sometimes. There are no formal limits on time off, and no formal process to request it. Let people know when you'll be away so that they can work around your absence. If you have responsibilities that you won't be tending to, see to it that they're accounted for first.
Make sure Drew has your bank information for wire transfers or direct deposit. We prepare invoices on or near the first of the month to send out to our clients, and we pay the monthly base to staff on this date as well. We will also wire you payment for any consulting invoices which were paid over the previous month at this time.
If you have reasonable work expenses, for instance on work-related equipment, books, and so on, ask Drew and he'll comp you. SourceHut will also cover your travel and accommodations for work-related events, such as conferences, if agreed upon in advance.