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Mark Smith & Denise Paolucci Dreamwidth Studios www.dreamwidth.org Build Your Own Contributors, One Part At A Time Licensed under Creative Commons 3.0.

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Presentation on theme: "Mark Smith & Denise Paolucci Dreamwidth Studios www.dreamwidth.org Build Your Own Contributors, One Part At A Time Licensed under Creative Commons 3.0."— Presentation transcript:

1 Mark Smith & Denise Paolucci Dreamwidth Studios Build Your Own Contributors, One Part At A Time Licensed under Creative Commons 3.0 CC-BY-SA

2 Dreamwidth Studios: Open source (GPL/Artistic) code fork of LiveJournal.com founded in 2008 Open Operations, Open Expression User-driven development, documentation, project management, support, design 130+ contributors, 70% female 50% beginners to Perl or to programming

3 Define Success: Lines of code? Number of commits? Frequency of releases? Longevity of project? Commercial applications?

4 Define Success: Lines of code? Number of commits? Frequency of releases? Longevity of project? Commercial applications?

5 People. PEOPLE.

6 People. PEOPLE.

7 Things that drive newcomers away: Unnecessary barriers to entry No clear expectations Glacial processes Inner circle (real or perceived) No respect for your contributors

8 In their own words: "I have tried getting into other projects, but found the entrance very difficult - and not only do I code almost every day, but I am the kind of person that attends hacker conferences. If I find it hard to find information on how to claim bugs, submit patches, and what programming style the project prefers, I shudder to think what programming beginners must think."

9 Lower the barriers to entry: Document your coding styles & conventions If you have to explain something more than twice, your documentation needs fixing Log bugs for everything, no matter how small Provide hosted developer environments Have clearly defined channels for coding help Put your project through the typo test

10 In their own words: I think my favorite aspect of the Dreamwidth project culture is that every contribution is welcomed, even if its incomplete or flawed. There is a sense that we want to help developers improve instead of rejecting them for not meeting some sort of standard of quality.

11 Set clear expectations: Uphold a Code of Conduct or Diversity Statement (dreamwidth.org/legal/diversity) Give people goals to work towards Create culture where teaching is expected Foster a sense of social reward for collaboration, not competition

12 In their own words: "I'm also enjoying the aspect of contributing to something I use and care about; I wrote a patch! It's live on Dreamwidth now, I can go and see what I did, if I want."

13 Keep it moving: People have short attention spans. Really. Work in steps and iterate: break tasks down and pass things off Manage your review queue: dont let patches rot, even if this means you get less coding time Be as available as you possibly can Resolve bikeshed arguments quickly

14 In their own words: I like that everybody cooperates and that it's really supportive, and that if you have a crisis of feeling like you're fucking everything up for a day, or that you've had a really crappy day and everything you've done has exploded, or what have you, you won't be laughed at.

15 Teambuilding is not a dirty word: Everyone is allowed to make mistakes Bug tickets are not flaws; they are chances to improve your project Keep process open: discuss and decide publicly Fiefdoms are dangerous! Dont value big patches over little ones; place equal values on feature development, cleanup, refactoring, documentation, training

16 In their own words: I recall one moment in IRC when someone submitted a patch to a much-wanted bug, there was massive cheering, and the dev said wistfully that this was why he was wanting to submit patches here and not at the day job, because while the day job paid, it did not provide a cheering squad, much less a genuinely enthusiastic one.

17 Which brings us to … THE single most important thing to do and have if you want to build your own contributors…

18 R-E-S-P-E-C-T: People thrive on being in the loop Dont reject contributions without explaining Ask yourself: Is this answer bullshit? Value contributions substance over style Moderate social channels for behavior

19 In their own words: I think I've found a new home. S'kinda cool.

20 Three things to start right now: Freshman orientation: appoint a welcomer and laud newcomers first contributions Stop timing out on communication when people need responses from you Problem Child: Have words with that person and let them know their behavior is not okay

21 For more information: dreamwidth.org/create (Code: OSCON10) dw-dev.dreamwidth.org wiki.dwscoalition.org Denise Paolucci Mark Smith


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