Assholes
are
Ruining
your
Project
Assholes
are
Stealing
your
Beer
Reputation Results
Contributors
The
Community
Circle
Your ability to get results
depends on your community.
What makes a great community?
Assholes The best
Most of us
Is this even a problem?
Ubuntu launches
Ohloh
Proto-assholes start
receiving complaints
Assholes removed
What isn't an asshole?
Conflict is good
What is an asshole? A simple test
After talking to the asshole, does the target feel
oppressed, humiliated, de-energized, ...
What is an asshole?
Look for
patterns
How many good
interactions does
it take to cancel
out one bad one?
Sutton
Sutton
Sutton
Sutton
Sutton
Problems assholes cause to targets
● 48% decreased their effort
● 47% worked less time
● 38% dropped their quality
● 66% d...
Problems assholes cause to projects
● Reduced innovation & creativity
● Reduced cooperation & cohesion
● Cost of targets' ...
TCA: Total Cost of Asshole
Team lead
Developer relations team
Project leadership
Recruiting & training new developers
Targ...
An asshole is incompetent
Flickr: escapo
How do you fix it?
Flickr: trp0
Flickr: kalandrakas
Flickr: hashir
Flickr: shannonmary
How do you prevent it?
Flickr: redefyne
Flickr: koenvereeken
Be quantitative
Flickr: soldiersmediacenter
Keep your standards high
Flickr: mount_otz
Provide expectations
In the long run,
dealing with assholes
is never worth it.
Donnie Berkholz
Analyst
RedMonk
dberkholz@redmonk.com
Twitter/IRC: dberkholz
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Assholes are ruining your project (Monki Gras)

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  • Intro Gentoo
    Social in tech
    You need to differentiate between personal attacks and technical criticisms.
  • Community is critical
    Best predictor of long-term viability
    How do you attract new contributors and users? Your brand. Function of your ability to create results.
    Key point: Ability to accomplish your mission
  • Good to Great
    Continual improvement – greatness is a process
    Metrics
    Are a few assholes balanced by a few amazing people? – come back to this later
  • Intent to harm not required
    Difference between how a person treats the powerless and the powerful is a great judge of character
  • Pattern! States vs traits. Consistency across places and times
    Everyone has a bad day sometimes. For assholes, every day is a bad day.
    Tolerance builds up over time. You don't realize who's an asshole.
  • Are a few assholes balanced by a few amazing people?
    Negative interactions 5x worse than positive
  • Are a few assholes balanced by a few amazing people?
    Negative interactions 5x worse than positive
  • Are a few assholes balanced by a few amazing people?
    Negative interactions 5x worse than positive
  • Are a few assholes balanced by a few amazing people?
    Negative interactions 5x worse than positive
  • Are a few assholes balanced by a few amazing people?
    Negative interactions 5x worse than positive
    5 good for 1 bad.
    Your team needs 5/6 positive people just to break even!
  • External cooperation & recruitment: based on reputation, caused by word of mouth
    Recruitment is different in FLOSS from biz; everyone has the power
  • Refusal to confront reality
    Dreadful stats
    - 50% of targets considered quitting, 12% of targets quit. One asshole, multiple targets.
    Reputation: word of mouth. Cascade
  • Social and technical ability are orthogonal. One never balances out the other.
    A good coder has one; a good developer has both.
  • Personal interactions
    Modeling
    Reporting: encourage; have a place; respond; rapid feedback
    Is it your job to change them?
  • Personal interactions—have a conference
    Modeling
  • People need somewhere to complain and a sense that action will happen—rapid feedback
    Reporting: encourage; have a place; respond; rapid feedback
  • Are you here to fix people or accomplish your goals? At some point, it's time to cut off the detour.
    Is it your job to change them?
  • Culture is like molasses, not like code.
    Problem of change in diffuse organizations: persuasion, shared interests, reputation
  • Show that social aspects have metrics, too. Developers believe numbers.
  • Is “good” really good enough? You are a SWAT team, you need great!
    Recruitment standards – is “good” good enough?
  • Nobody knows your culture when they start. Do you want them to learn it from an asshole? Provide a code of conduct.
    Clear expectations set a baseline: code of conduct
  • Get rid of them, and later you'll wonder why it took you so long to act.
  • Assholes are ruining your project (Monki Gras)

    1. 1. Assholes are Ruining your Project
    2. 2. Assholes are Stealing your Beer
    3. 3. Reputation Results Contributors The Community Circle
    4. 4. Your ability to get results depends on your community.
    5. 5. What makes a great community? Assholes The best Most of us
    6. 6. Is this even a problem? Ubuntu launches Ohloh Proto-assholes start receiving complaints Assholes removed
    7. 7. What isn't an asshole? Conflict is good
    8. 8. What is an asshole? A simple test After talking to the asshole, does the target feel oppressed, humiliated, de-energized, or belittled?
    9. 9. What is an asshole? Look for patterns
    10. 10. How many good interactions does it take to cancel out one bad one? Sutton
    11. 11. Sutton
    12. 12. Sutton
    13. 13. Sutton
    14. 14. Sutton
    15. 15. 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
    16. 16. 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
    17. 17. TCA: Total Cost of Asshole Team lead Developer relations team Project leadership Recruiting & training new developers Targets & witnesses __________________ Total Cost of Asshole + + + + Sutton
    18. 18. An asshole is incompetent Flickr: escapo
    19. 19. How do you fix it? Flickr: trp0
    20. 20. Flickr: kalandrakas
    21. 21. Flickr: hashir
    22. 22. Flickr: shannonmary
    23. 23. How do you prevent it? Flickr: redefyne
    24. 24. Flickr: koenvereeken Be quantitative
    25. 25. Flickr: soldiersmediacenter Keep your standards high
    26. 26. Flickr: mount_otz Provide expectations
    27. 27. In the long run, dealing with assholes is never worth it.
    28. 28. Donnie Berkholz Analyst RedMonk dberkholz@redmonk.com Twitter/IRC: dberkholz

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