Assholes are killing your project (OSCON)


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The strength of your community is the best predictor of your project’s long-term viability. What happens when that community is gradually infiltrated by assholes, who infect everyone else with their constant negativity and personal attacks? Although someone may be a valuable technical contributor, that person will never contribute as much to the project as the many others who are scared away and demotivated.

This talk will teach you about the dramatic impact assholes are having on your organization today and will show you how you can begin to repair it.

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Assholes are killing your project (OSCON)

  1. Assholes are killing your project
  2. Community is critical ContributorsReputation Results
  3. Your ability to get resultsdepends on your community.
  4. What makes a great community?Most of us Assholes The best
  5. Proving the problem: Gentoo Assholes removed Ubuntu launches Proto-assholes start receiving complaints Ohloh
  6. Proving the problem: Glibc Move to Git Drepper leaves Ohloh
  7. What isnt an asshole?Conflict is good
  8. What is an asshole? Look for patterns
  9. Assholes who look noble on the surface● Cookie licking● Manipulative behaviors for “community good”● Backchannelers
  10. What is an asshole? Two tests1. After talking to the asshole, does the target feel oppressed, humiliated, de-energized, or belittled?2. Does the asshole target those less powerful?
  11. How many goodinteractions doesit take to cancelout one bad one? Sutton
  12. Sutton
  13. Sutton
  14. Sutton
  15. Sutton
  16. Nuancing Impact● Assholes don’t vex equally● Serious impact on community diversity leads to further degradation of community health
  17. Men tend to Fight Pearson & Porath Flickr: undergroundbastard
  18. Women tend towardFlight Pearson & Porath Flickr: noeluap
  19. Problems assholes cause to targets● 48% decreased their effort● 47% worked less time● 38% dropped their quality● 66% declined in performance● 80% lost time worrying● 63% lost time avoiding● 78% became less committed● 25% quit; 20% of witnesses quit! Sutton
  20. Cascadingeffectsamplifythe problem Flickr: wsdot
  21. Problems assholes cause to projects● Reduced innovation & creativity● Reduced cooperation & cohesion● Cost of targets retribution toward project● Impaired cooperation from external projects & people● Impaired ability to attract the best & brightest● Recruiting more assholes Sutton
  22. TCA: Total Cost of Asshole Team lead+ Developer relations team+ Project leadership+ Recruiting & training new developers+ Targets & witnesses __________________ Total Cost of Asshole Sutton
  23. An asshole is incompetent Flickr: escapo
  24. Dealingwith Assholes a.k.a.How to Steel Your Spine
  25. How do you fix it? Flickr: trp0
  26. Flickr: kalandrakas
  27. Flickr: hashir
  28. Flickr: shannonmary
  29. How do you prevent it? Flickr: redefyne
  30. Be quantitative Flickr: koenvereeken
  31. Keep your standards high Flickr: soldiersmediacenter
  32. Provide expectations Flickr: mount_otz
  33. Want to learn more? Read these
  34. In the long run,dealing with assholes is never worth it.
  35. Donnie Berkholzdberkholz@redmonk.comTwitter/IRC: dberkholzLeslie Hawthornhawthorn@redhat.comTwitter: lhawthornIRC: lh