The Challenges of Keeping
Bees
Jeff Potts
@jeffpotts01
http://ecmarchitect.com

#SummitNow
I am a Beekeeper

#SummitNow
#SummitNow
Non-Commercial Open Source

#SummitNow
#SummitNow
Proprietary Software

#SummitNow
#SummitNow
Similar outputs, different
processes

#SummitNow
Commercial Open Source

#SummitNow
#SummitNow
How a Honey Farm Works

#SummitNow
#SummitNow
How Commercial Open Source
Works

#SummitNow
#SummitNow
Community Manager

#SummitNow
#SummitNow
#SummitNow
#SummitNow
Challenge #1: Influx of
Maple Syrup Executives


#SummitNow
#SummitNow
“Nothing is f**ked here, Dude.
Come on, you're being very unDude.”
-- Walter Sobchak, The Big Lebowski

#SummitNow
#Summit...
Strong go-to-market team
critical

#SummitNow
#SummitNow
Cloud

Hybrid

On-Prem

20% – 60% – 20%
80%

Open API is critical
Open platform is critical

#SummitNow
#SummitNow
Renew our open source
strategy

“Building a Stronger Open Source Product”
• http://bit.ly/kMkAq
Company has evolved since ...
Challenge #2: Diversity in
the Gene Pool

#SummitNow
#SummitNow
The honey farm is enormous

Active Alfresco forum users by location, November
2012

#SummitNow
#SummitNow
Alfresco Community Stars 2013
Amy Currans
Joseph John
Carlo Sciolla (skuro)
Tahir Malik
Carl Nordenfeldt
Axel Faust
Floria...
Ian Crew: Enterprise Customer. Dean of
IRC.
Works for: UC Berkeley
Blog: wanderingalfresco.
wordpress.com
IRC Nic: iancrew...
Oksana Kurysheva: Language Packer.
Hacker.
Works for: ITD
Translations managed at:
crowdin.net/project/alfresco
“Alfresco ...
Jan Pfitzner: Partner. Add-On King.
Works for: fme
Blog: blog.alfrescian.com
Twitter: @alfrescian
“Answering questions in ...
Amy Currans: Queen of the Meetup
Works for: Tribloom
Twitter: @HanaleiGirl
“Be aggressive in getting involved in the
commu...
Engineering Alfresco Awesomesauce
Will Abson
Integrations Engineer
Claim to fame:

Share Extras

Mark Rogers
Repository En...
None of these people
participate in our community
as their primary responsibility

#SummitNow
#SummitNow
Challenge #3: Attracting &
Keeping Bees

#SummitNow
#SummitNow
Attracting and keeping bees
Make it easy for newcomers
Foster a welcoming, helpful environment
Make contributions visible
...
Release velocity
Elapsed Days as of 10/17/2013
300

250

200

150

100

50

0

#SummitNow
#SummitNow
Challenge #4: Measuring
the Happiness of the Bees

#SummitNow
#SummitNow
How do you want to measure it?
• Community Edition
downloads
• Jiras filed
• Major code contributions
• Forum, wiki, blog ...
More importantly:
How does it feel?

#SummitNow
#SummitNow
Challenge #5:
Understanding What the
Bees Want

#SummitNow
#SummitNow
Community focus in recent
years

2011: Get the community organized
2012: Community system improvements
2013: Focus on exte...
Newsletter
• Goes out Quarterly
• Round-up
Sign up at:
http://www.alfresco.com/
company/
newsletters

#SummitNow
#SummitNo...
Live Alfresco Office Hours

#SummitNow
#SummitNow
Landing Page
On-ramp
Communication
Aggregation

#SummitNow
#SummitNow
Busy, having fun, but not scaling

#SummitNow
#SummitNow
Every bee makes a contribution
Help someone in the forums or on IRC
Report bugs
Contribute fixes
Edit the wiki
Upload your...
#SummitNow
#SummitNow
#SummitNow
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The Challenges of Keeping Bees

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Several years ago, James Dixon, CTO at Pentaho, published a paper called, “The Bees and the Trees: The Beekeeper Model of Commercial Open Source Software”. I have found that this metaphor is hugely helpful in explaining commercial open source to people. So in this talk I introduce James' model, then I use it as the context to discuss the state of the Alfresco community.

A recording of this session lives here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_NSsz-sjbzg

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  • Not really. But let me tell you what I mean.Photo credit, roberrific, cc-nc, http://www.flickr.com/photos/roberrific/6921510878/
  • There’s this cool whitepaper from James Dixon at Pentaho. James says…Non-commercial open source projects are like wild bee hivesProject centered around a few queen bees, bees come and goAnyone is free to come along and take the honey, but no formal go to market functionOutput depends on the number of bees, health of the hive, etc.Queen bees are like the core engineering team. The other bees are community members. The honey and honeycomb is the software. The hive is the community.Open source has community but only produces raw material, not whole product. Most customers don’t want to collect their own honey. They want the whole product, not a raw material.Photo credit: Bee hive, by DB Duo Photography, cc-by-sa 2.0: http://www.flickr.com/photos/drb62/2144873098/Source: “The Bees and the Trees: The Beekeeper Model of Commercial Open Source Software”, by James Dixon, CTO, Pentaho
  • Source: “The Bees and the Trees: The Beekeeper Model of Commercial Open Source Software”, by James Dixon, CTO, PentahoProprietary software is like a maple syrup factoryCompletely focused on generating product, taking that product to the marketTrees aren’t actively involved in making syrupNo one from the outside involved, including customers Proprietary software produces a whole product but has no community.Both produce a sticky, sugary substance, but with a different process and outputs.Photo credit: Maple Grove Farms of Vermont, by J. Stephen Conn, cc-by-nc 2.0: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jstephenconn/2779332097/
  • Photo credit: Bee hives by Eilidh B, cc-by-nd 2.0: http://www.flickr.com/photos/29647084@N06/5002498868/
  • Source: “The Bees and the Trees: The Beekeeper Model of Commercial Open Source Software”, by James Dixon, CTO, PentahoBeekeeper creates a rich environmentOutputs sold, profits grow the bee farmSome roles focus on the bees, some on the productMutually beneficial partnership between beekeeper and beesGrowth of the farm depends on how much product the can be sold to customers.The honey in the jar is the same honey as the honey in the hive, but customers will only pay for it when it comes in a jar.Each individual bee makes a small contribution and it takes a lot of bees for a successful outcome.
  • Source: “The Bees and the Trees: The Beekeeper Model of Commercial Open Source Software”, by James Dixon, CTO, PentahoEngineers have routine and direct interactions with the community.Community has a mutually-beneficial relationship with the open source company.Engineering and product management are involved in both the syrup and the beekeeper model—those roles are not significantly different.The commercial open source model includes all of the components of the wild hive AND all of the components of the maple syrup factory. Nothing is missing.
  • Photo credit: Jordan Fischer, cc by 2.0, http://www.flickr.com/photos/jordanfischer/2341263192/
  • Let’s look at the state of the Alfresco bee hive…Photo credit: Brian, by-nc-sa, http://www.flickr.com/photos/ncreedplayer/3763639071/
  • Many new faces on the senior management team.Many are new to open source, so we’re educating them.Ultimately, a strong go-to-market engine is absolutely critical because it brings profits that can be invested in the community.
  • Community members are asking if the new management team means a change for the community.Everyone take a deep breath.Ouropen source model has brought us incredibly far and it will continue to do so. Here are a few reasons why I think that is true…
  • Profits from the commercial side allow us to invest in the communityCustomer is an organization, a person is a community memberGo-to-market is fundamentally separate from community buildingLet’s take a super-successful go to market engine, give them the selling points of a high quality product produced with a superior process and let great things happen.
  • Openness continues to be an extremely important value for us and our customersIf you are on-premise, the open platform is critical. Our customers are telling us that is still an important reason they choose Alfresco.If you are in the cloud, you want to be able to build content-centric applications on top of that repository, so an open API is critical.Openness is still an important value to the company.
  • We still want a freely-available Community Edition to be a quality productCore values haven’t changed from the time of the blog postBut our company has. So we need to update the differentiation guidelines with that context.Back then we had one product. Now we have several. So the company has changed but our values haven’t.
  • The hive is diverse. Let’s zoom in a bit
  • The Alfresco Honey Farm is huge. Our community is truly global
  • This year’s community members who have distinguished themselves with their level of time and energy given to the community.I am sorry that I always leave deserving people off of this list—there are so many dedicated individuals around the world. Please let me know when you see someone deserving.I want to highlight a few of these folks, so you can put a face to their name.Also pay attention to the diversity of skills, roles, and motivations of the following individuals…
  • > 270 community-based translators at last count
  • Very active in developing modules listed at Alfresco Addons (http://addons.alfresco.com)
  • Not technical. But still loves our community. Applies her passion and organizational skills to running meetups.
  • So many more Alfresco engineers I could mention here if I had the room
  • They do it because they love the community.Beyond that, though, everyone has their own motivation.Some are establishing credibility. Some are looking for productivity gains. Some are marketing themselves or their company.We must understand all of those motivations and set up an environment that addresses those needs
  • Could do better on making the learning curve easier. Tactically, I have written a CMIS book, revised the ecmarchitect.com tutorials and have added an alfresco-api-examples project on github. Need more for Share customizations, though.As a community, we already do a great job of welcoming newcomers (but we need to on-ramp them better)Add-Ons does a lot for making contributions visible. We’ve also resurrected the contributions wiki page. But we could improve a lot on things like how Jiras from first-time creators are triaged. Mozilla says that is the #1 determiner of whether or not a contributor will stick around.
  • Peaks had to do with some internal code line reorganizations and other resource intensive tasks.Everyone wants those peaks to go away.We are working to get Community Edition out more frequently.
  • How do you know when your community is happy and healthy?
  • We watch most or all of these metrics.Each quarter we’ll pick a few and try to move them one way or another.But none taken alone will give you a complete picture of our community
  • Is there something always happening somewhere?Do people get an answer when they ask a question?Are we living up to our values of openness and transparency?
  • We’ve made progress over the last few years, but there is still more to do.We need to listen to the community, find out what it is they want to do, and then put systems and processes in place to enable that.
  • Have been experimenting with Google Hangouts on Air. People seem to like it.Live Office Hours: Community team just talking about what’s been going on. No set agenda. Community members join as panelists sometimes.Tech Talk Live: Specific technical agenda with a guest panelist.
  • I’ve heard many people say that it feels like there is always something going on but it is sometimes hard to find out what’s happening, whenA new landing page helps existing community members find out what’s going on, helps them track things like Jiras, forum threads, wiki editsAlso helps newcomers
  • Photo Credit: beekeepers, by bwohack, cc-by-sa, http://www.flickr.com/photos/wohack/3727252089/
  • Every bee makes a small contribution to the output of the hive. Together, something amazing happens.I cannot (and do not want to) compel you to participateMy goal is to make you want to participateAnd if there is a reason you cannot participate and I can help, please let me or someone on my team know
  • You are the bee. Be the bee. Let’s make something beautiful together!Photo credit: Bee, by blathlean, cc by 2.0, http://www.flickr.com/photos/blathlean/5424404555/
  • The Challenges of Keeping Bees

    1. 1. The Challenges of Keeping Bees Jeff Potts @jeffpotts01 http://ecmarchitect.com #SummitNow
    2. 2. I am a Beekeeper #SummitNow #SummitNow
    3. 3. Non-Commercial Open Source #SummitNow #SummitNow
    4. 4. Proprietary Software #SummitNow #SummitNow
    5. 5. Similar outputs, different processes #SummitNow
    6. 6. Commercial Open Source #SummitNow #SummitNow
    7. 7. How a Honey Farm Works #SummitNow #SummitNow
    8. 8. How Commercial Open Source Works #SummitNow #SummitNow
    9. 9. Community Manager #SummitNow #SummitNow
    10. 10. #SummitNow #SummitNow
    11. 11. Challenge #1: Influx of Maple Syrup Executives  #SummitNow #SummitNow
    12. 12. “Nothing is f**ked here, Dude. Come on, you're being very unDude.” -- Walter Sobchak, The Big Lebowski #SummitNow #SummitNow
    13. 13. Strong go-to-market team critical #SummitNow #SummitNow
    14. 14. Cloud Hybrid On-Prem 20% – 60% – 20% 80% Open API is critical Open platform is critical #SummitNow #SummitNow
    15. 15. Renew our open source strategy “Building a Stronger Open Source Product” • http://bit.ly/kMkAq Company has evolved since 2009 Strategy will too, but fundamental values haven’t changed #SummitNow #SummitNow
    16. 16. Challenge #2: Diversity in the Gene Pool #SummitNow #SummitNow
    17. 17. The honey farm is enormous Active Alfresco forum users by location, November 2012 #SummitNow #SummitNow
    18. 18. Alfresco Community Stars 2013 Amy Currans Joseph John Carlo Sciolla (skuro) Tahir Malik Carl Nordenfeldt Axel Faust Florian Maul Lanre Abiwon (darkstar1) Oksana Kurysheva Peter Lofgren (Loftux) Piergiorgio Lucidi (openpj) Ian Crew Mittal Patoliya (mitpatoliya) Jean Joseph (jeanjot) Charles Le Seac’h (cleseach) Jan Pfitzner (alfrescian) Denys G. Santos (gsdenys) Cristina Martin Ruiz#SummitNow #SummitNow Mike Priest
    19. 19. Ian Crew: Enterprise Customer. Dean of IRC. Works for: UC Berkeley Blog: wanderingalfresco. wordpress.com IRC Nic: iancrew “The Alfresco community is more about the moral support and community of people who really get what I'm experiencing…” #SummitNow #SummitNow
    20. 20. Oksana Kurysheva: Language Packer. Hacker. Works for: ITD Translations managed at: crowdin.net/project/alfresco “Alfresco community is like a big family. There are hundreds of people you meet every day on IRC or Alfresco Forums, see their commits to Github projects…When you see all these faces at Alfresco Summit you feel like you are at home.” #SummitNow #SummitNow
    21. 21. Jan Pfitzner: Partner. Add-On King. Works for: fme Blog: blog.alfrescian.com Twitter: @alfrescian “Answering questions in the forums and on Stack Overflow is still my favourite approach to get in touch with new components or APIs.” #SummitNow #SummitNow
    22. 22. Amy Currans: Queen of the Meetup Works for: Tribloom Twitter: @HanaleiGirl “Be aggressive in getting involved in the community! The Alfresco community has plenty of room for new people, new ideas and contributions. Get out there and do something.” #SummitNow #SummitNow
    23. 23. Engineering Alfresco Awesomesauce Will Abson Integrations Engineer Claim to fame: Share Extras Mark Rogers Repository Engineer Claim to fame: Most Forum Posts. Ever. #SummitNow #SummitNow
    24. 24. None of these people participate in our community as their primary responsibility #SummitNow #SummitNow
    25. 25. Challenge #3: Attracting & Keeping Bees #SummitNow #SummitNow
    26. 26. Attracting and keeping bees Make it easy for newcomers Foster a welcoming, helpful environment Make contributions visible Provide nourishing raw material #SummitNow #SummitNow
    27. 27. Release velocity Elapsed Days as of 10/17/2013 300 250 200 150 100 50 0 #SummitNow #SummitNow
    28. 28. Challenge #4: Measuring the Happiness of the Bees #SummitNow #SummitNow
    29. 29. How do you want to measure it? • Community Edition downloads • Jiras filed • Major code contributions • Forum, wiki, blog hits • Wiki edits • Active forum users • Active IRC users • Meetup groups & attendees • Facebook, LinkedIn, Twit ter followers • Projects on Addons, Google Code, Bitbucket, & GitHub • Alfresco Public API registered developers • Community translators • Blog posts by community • Alfresco Summit traffic • Community Survey • TechTalk Live & Office #SummitNow Hours viewers #SummitNow
    30. 30. More importantly: How does it feel? #SummitNow #SummitNow
    31. 31. Challenge #5: Understanding What the Bees Want #SummitNow #SummitNow
    32. 32. Community focus in recent years 2011: Get the community organized 2012: Community system improvements 2013: Focus on external engagement 2014: What does the community want to do? #SummitNow #SummitNow
    33. 33. Newsletter • Goes out Quarterly • Round-up Sign up at: http://www.alfresco.com/ company/ newsletters #SummitNow #SummitNow
    34. 34. Live Alfresco Office Hours #SummitNow #SummitNow
    35. 35. Landing Page On-ramp Communication Aggregation #SummitNow #SummitNow
    36. 36. Busy, having fun, but not scaling #SummitNow #SummitNow
    37. 37. Every bee makes a contribution Help someone in the forums or on IRC Report bugs Contribute fixes Edit the wiki Upload your add-on Start or join a meetup #SummitNow #SummitNow
    38. 38. #SummitNow #SummitNow
    39. 39. #SummitNow
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