As developers, it’s in our best interest to automate things. The less we have to do in a manual way, the better. As soon as manual intervention is required, there is potential for failure or a mishap. Aside from that, it’s your time as a maintainer that could be spent elsewhere.
If you host your code on GitHub, besides scripts to automate certain actions, you can also leverage the huge ecosystem of GitHub Actions.
If someone opens an issue on your repository, you could respond with a personal message saying thank you, but those keystrokes are probably better suited for other things. Automate a message reply instead, thanking the community member for creating the issue and mentioning you will look into it. An automated message to the issue opener is friendly, even if it’s automated.
My coworker bdougie (@bdougieyo) created the take Github action. It allows external contributors to self-assign issues by typing .take into a comment of an issue. This removes the burden of a bit of back and forth between contributors and maintainers.
Of course, we don’t want external contributors self-assigning any issue they want. The take action also has the concept of blocking labels. For example, if an issue has a 👀 needs triage label, we can add this label to a list of blocking labels.
Another action that came onto my radar a couple of days ago was thanks to styfle. Although I haven’t used it yet, nissuer looks like a great utility belt GitHub action for maintainers. The Next.js repository uses it, so I'm sure it brings lots of value to a maintainer.
I love this note they added in the README.
NOTE: Developers are coming to your project with all sorts of backgrounds/skill levels or understanding of the open-source world. Show empathy while using this action. 💚 We recommend adding comments that not only dismiss unhelpful issues/comments, but educate the user on how to be more helpful in the future.