“25k stars later – How to survive maintaining a popular GitHub project in your spare time”

  by Niels Lohmann


In this talk, I will look back to 8 years of development and maintenance of “JSON for Modern C++”, an MIT-licensed library to support JSON in C++. It started as a small side project and is now used by Apple, Microsoft, Google, Volkswagen, and Daimler and received ~25k stars on GitHub. I will discuss the challenges and problems along the way, the lessons learned, and look into the future of the project.

The talk will

  • give a brief overview of the library, assuming C++ and JSON are known
  • look back how it started in 2013 and how the project evolved to 10k clones per day
  • report of the problems and the lessons learned during development and maintenance and the challenges of having this as a side project
  • sketch the criteria that lead to the success of the library
  • give a glimpse to the future of JSON for Modern C++

Besides an insight into the project and its processes, the audience will get an overview of the tools used to deliver well-tested C++ software in their spare time.

About the speaker

Niels Lohmann works as an engineering lead and develops navigation software and location-based games for a German automotive company. He is a passionate C++ developer and the author of “JSON for Modern C++”, a popular JSON library for C++11.