I am Kenneth Reitz. Ask me anything.

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Maria Charman's photo

As with everyone, I have come to know about you through Requests. :) I think enough people have thanked you for it now, you might probably be getting tired, haha! But, thanks a lot, anyway! I have a couple of questions for you:

  • What are the tips that you have for an aspiring developer who also wants to release an awesome open source library. Motivation is a feeble thing, what is your secret sauce?

  • What is your work setup, all the gadgets that you use, and geek over?

Kenneth Reitz's photo

Software for Humans

Kenneth Reitz's Tips for Releasing Open Source

  • Communicate clearly and concisely. Have a great, useful README.
  • Don't waste anyone's time.
  • Why should they use your project? It should be immediately obvious.
  • How do they use your project? It should be immediately obvious.
  • How do they install your project? It should be immediately obvious.
  • Be really open about the development, if you're on social media (e.g. Twitter).
  • You have to be excited about what you're building, for others to be excited about it.


I use a 5K iMac for almost everything. I love having a single screen and a single computer for almost everything I do. Over the years, I've had a ton of laptops that I used 100% of the time. Nowadays, I'm more sedentary, and enjoy being fastened to my desk. Of course, I have the Macbooks I need to work from anywhere, but I rarely do.

Gadgets? Oh, I have many. I'll just name a few random ones.

  • Tivoli Audio Model One: a real analog AM/FM radio that sits on my desk.
  • Leica Q: my camera, which I take with me almost everywhere I go.
  • Ricoh GR: secondary camera, fits in my pockets, looks like a toy. Is not a toy.
  • Pilot Vanishing Point: an absolutely fantastically designed fountain pen.
  • Microfiber Cloth: most recent addition. I use it constantly, and keep it in my pocket.
  • Synths: Moog Sub37, Arturia MicroBrute, Korg VolcaKeys, Roland TR-8. I used to have many more synths. I have downsized.
  • Ableton Push 2: I can't play keyboards (I don't know the scales). I can with this. Well.
  • Portable Music Studio: Korg Electribe 2. Google it. It's crazy.
  • Dymo Label Maker: shockingly useful. I use it constantly (including to make the Requests stickers for PyCon this year!). $10.
  • Tektronix 2213A Analog Oscilloscope: a very useful feedback tool for anything electronic (e.g. audio signals).

Thanks for the great question! ✨🍰✨

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