short-term project management services

for free and open source software projects

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Roadside assistance for open source maintainers.


Project Liaison

Talk with the open source projects you depend on, and find out what they need to work better with you.

Expedited Release

Get the million little things done that stand between you and release, so those features sitting in git master can get to users who are waiting for them.

Developer Onboarding Audit and Revamp

Assess what's slowing down new engineers in documents, tooling, and training -- and fix it. (Example.)

Hackathon/Sprint Prep

Set up first-timer guidance, select TODOs that can actually get done, and get the right sessions on the schedule and make them effective.

Intern/Mentor Support

Prepare your project to apply for Google Summer of Code or Outreachy, and prepare for applicants to have an easier developer onboarding experience.

Initial Open Source Release

Triage, edit, and transfer bug reports, documentation, and TODO lists from your company's intranet to GitHub, GitLab, a wiki, etc.

Contributor Outreach

Bring in new coders, writers, and other volunteers -- and grow the ones you already know.

Grant Writing

Write and submit project plans and funding requests to get grants, and report to funders once you've got them.

About Changeset Consulting

Changeset provides short-term project management services to free and open source software projects. Does your team, or a project you depend on, need to get the next release out, write developer or user documentation, triage and respond to bugs, clean out the code review queue, or prioritize tasks for upcoming work? Changeset Consulting can do all that, so maintainers can focus on writing and reviewing code.

Founder and Principal: Sumana Harihareswara, an open source software contributor (GitHub) and project manager with over a decade of experience in the software industry. Her past leadership in nonprofit, academia, industry, and volunteer organizations earned her an Open Source Citizen Award in 2011 and the Google Open Source Peer Bonus in 2018. She lives in New York City and founded Changeset in 2015.

Harihareswara frequently speaks and writes about open source and management; she was keynote speaker at Open Source Bridge in 2012, code4lib in 2014, and Wiki Conference USA in 2014.

Prior to founding Changeset, Harihareswara was Senior Technical Writer and Engineering Community Manager at the Wikimedia Foundation. She has also managed projects at Collabora, GNOME,, Fog Creek Software, Behavior, and Harihareswara served on the board of directors of the Ada Initiative and currently serves on the Otherwise Award Motherboard.

She holds an MS in Technology Management from Columbia University and a BA in political science from the University of California, Berkeley. She is a member of the Python Packaging Authority and of the Python Software Foundation's Packaging Working Group, and a certified Software Carpentry and Data Carpentry instructor, and she participated in the Recurse Center in 2013 and 2014.

Associates: Changeset project teams include or have included technical writer and developer advocate Heidi Waterhouse, community and project manager Kate Chapman, researcher and project manager Jenny Ryan, security expert Dr. Zack Weinberg, and developers Frances Hocutt and Laura Hampton.

photo of Sumana Harihareswara, original photo by Sumana Harihareswara, CC-BY

"If you hate bad meetings, you should talk to @ChangesetLLC.

I’ve walked away from every meeting run by @brainwane with a sense of awe and wonderment rather than crankiness and regret.

Efficient, painless, productive."

Ee W. Durbin III, Director of Infrastructure at the Python Software Foundation

"My view is that an open source project without a healthy external community doesn't provide most of the benefits of open source....

Kandra Labs hired Sumana Harihareswara to do some consulting during the early days of Zulip ... I think this was one of the best decisions I made early on: it was incredibly helpful to have her to both help with direct work on setting up the community and bounce ideas off of and talk about what types of things we should be doing to help make Zulip a project that a community can grow around."

Tim Abbott, founder and CEO of Kandra Labs, co-founder of Zulip

"Whenever I wonder 'What has Sumana been up to lately', I see her working on some excellent new project, cleaning out a neglected backlog, organizing training materials, helping people start an event, documenting something undocumented, prodding WMF to get smarter -- in other words, she's been tirelessly, fearlessly, capably making things better for our dev community, which in turn benefits the quality of the software we build together."

Erik Möller while VP of Engineering and Product Development at Wikimedia Foundation; now Principal Project Manager at Freedom of the Press Foundation

"Sumana Harihareswara, who is an extremely deep thinker (and with a blog to prove it), has started Changeset Consulting, to help people and companies manage their open source projects.

If you know a business that is struggling with managing its open source dependencies, they might be interested in hiring Changeset to make sure bugs get escalated and fixed, and new releases come out on a dependable cadence....

Sumana is a great person to work with."

Federico Mena-Quintero, co-founder of GNOME

"As a project manager, she made it natural and easy for members of the project to do their part well."

Dan Conner, developer and Behavior contractor

Python Package Index

Project manager (2017-present)

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HTTPS Everywhere

Community management consultant (2017-2018)

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Open Tech Strategies

Researcher and infrastructure builder (2016-2018)

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Technical writer and community coordinator (2016-2017)

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Product designer and manager (2017)

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Release expediter (2015)

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MediaWiki community manager and senior technical writer (2011-2014)

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Onboarding auditor (2013)

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Speaker and writer (2012-2014)

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Marketer and editor (2009-2011)

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Project manager (2011)

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Product manager (2009)

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Pricing will vary per engagement; please contact Changeset for a free initial consultation and estimate. Changeset usually works remotely via email, IRC, Slack, Zulip, VoIP, bugtrackers, wikis, and other tools you already use; in the rare cases where travel is necessary, it will be billed as an additional expense.

Hourly work is available at a per-hour rate. Most engagements will take 20 or more hours and cost substantially less than the same work would on a per-hour basis.

Featured Resources

Essays, guides and other resources to help you manage your project.

Browse the complete archive →

Getting Unstuck sampler cover

Sampler Ebook of Getting Unstuck: Advice For Open Source Projects


A free 38-page sampler ebook on assessing an existing project, starting to think about budgets and money, and teaching and including unskilled volunteers. Includes the introduction and table of contents for the full (forthcoming) book.

Get the ebook
Case study: Open Technology Fund: timeline for application and acceptance

Apply for Grants To Fund Open Source Work


Who's funding open source projects, a quick case study, key steps in figuring out a good project idea, budgeting, hiring, and submitting, and how a new workgroup can help you get going.

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group of programmers laughing around a table while looking at a screen

Remote sprint tips


Harihareswara has run or helped run several distributed sprints/hack days/hack weeks. Here are some tips that help. The approach is less "top-down schedule" and more "here's how to adapt to and support the emergent ways people will act".

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block of wood embedded in crosswalk asphalt, original photo by Sumana Harihareswara 2017, CC-BY

How to Teach And Include Volunteers who Write Poor Patches


Helping less-skilled programmers improve their code, dealing with the poor-quality pull requests themselves, and redirecting their energies to improve your project in other ways: tips and examples.

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pen on gridded paper, CC BY from

Sample installation audit


How easy is the developer setup process for your project? Here's a sample audit report.

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