Write (or speak) about any of Pants community's favorite topics!
Interested in blogging about Pants? Any member of the community is encouraged to pitch topics for the Pants Blog. You can DM pitches to me (@cczona) over at pantsbuild.slack.com. Likewise, we encourage writing for your company blog, personal blog, or other organizations' blogs where appropriate for your topic. If you'd like a Pants maintainer's feedback on a draft post, or would like other writing assistance, we're happy to provide 1:1 support so you can feel maximum confidence in what you've written.
Here are some of the topics that make particularly great posts:
Walk people through how to solve a particular problem. How to write a Pants plugin is always a popular topic. So is how to contribute to Pants in other ways, such as contributing a new backend. Also great are tutorials about how to use other features of Pants, big picture conceptual explanations, or how to make optimal use of any of the many tools that Pants supports. For example, getting a better understanding of using mypy with Pants.
If you have accumulated a collection of tips about e.g. Black, Thrift, Docker, MyPy, or something else Pants supports, consider writing a post highlighting the tool itself and your tips. Don't forget to include a passage showing how combining it with Pants superpowers that tool's capabilities!
How to convert your codebase from one approach (e.g. Tox, Poetry, Bazel, ad hoc shell scripts, etc) to Pants is a common question. Pants tries not to impose any one way of doing things, to allow you maximum flexibility. But new users often want to know "what's a good way for me to approach this". Your example, of how and why you chose to arrange the codebase and make that transition, can be very useful to others who are weighing their options.
Using Pants in CI
How do you use Pants in CI? How nicely does your CI system play with Pants? What handy tips should others know about? What caveats? If you've used Pants with more than one CI system, how do they compare? How has using Pants in CI affected the way your team works? How has it affected build time, velocity, or scaling?
Pants team really appreciates those, by the way. It's really rewarding for open source contributors when we get to hear details of how Pants is being used in the real-world to address your day-to-day challenges. Moreover, when people are considering whether to try Pants, a relatable case study from an organization in an industry similar to theirs can be extremely influential.
A case study needn't be highly structured. You can see some nice examples in Resource Hub's case studies section. Generally the format starts with an introduction to your organization, your team, the challenges you were experiencing, and the priorities you applied in trying to solve it. Then a summary of solutions attempted, where Pants fits in, what your ultimate choice of solution was, the process of implementing it, and your reflections on the outcome. It's a personal experience report shared with peers, to lend insights to others experiencing challenges similar to what you confronted.
Not everyone has used a build system before, or worked with a monorepo, or coded for a hermetic environment, or even is aware of our community’s specialist professions such as build engineering and productivity engineering. Big-picture conceptual explanations of topics can be very helpful for newcomers to Pants, who may appreciate an introduction to its conceptual underpinnings.
New or upcoming features
Especially if you've recently contributed something to Pants, please know you are very welcome to blog all about that feature, who it's for, what use cases it addresses, how to get the most out of it, etc. Note that you absolutely do not need to have contributed a given feature in order to blog about it. Sometimes the best person to write about it is an enthusiastic adopter, who can really highlight the strengths of the feature under real-life conditions.
Whatever you're doing with PEX, if you find it interesting others probably will too. PEX is maintained by Pants Team and others, so we consider PEX on-topic at Pants blog and are always happy to see it get more of the love it deserves.
SCIE is the latest project from the Pantsbuild team, and we’re very excited about its potential. We’d love to see some posts about how you’re using SCIE and highlighting its merits for others to tap.
Notice something about all of these topics? They make great topics of a talk too! Whether it's a lunch-time presentation to your team, a meetup talk, lightning/ignite talk, or conference session, these are topics that developers and data scientists appreciate learning more about. Your experience and perspective on any of these topics can be a valued contribution to peers' professional development and productivity. Just like blogging, feel free to reach out for assistance with talk development/prep. We're happy to provide the support you need, upon request — whether that be a sounding board, mentorship, a friendly audience for a rehearsal, or feedback. Here's also a [running list of open CFPs], so you can catch relevant speaking opportunities!