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Social skills for geeks
Social skills for geeks
Social skills for geeks
Social skills for geeks
Social skills for geeks
Social skills for geeks
Social skills for geeks
Social skills for geeks
Social skills for geeks
Social skills for geeks
Social skills for geeks
Social skills for geeks
Social skills for geeks
Social skills for geeks
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Social skills for geeks

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  • 1. Social Skills for GeeksLydia Pintscher@nightroselydia@kde.org openSUSE conf 2011
  • 2. Who am I and why am I here?
  • 3. Goals● How to ensure more and good quality contributions● How to not scare contributors away● Highlight typical situations and ways of handling them Feel free to jump in!
  • 4. Topic overview● Handling contributions● Coping with the negative● Ways of working● Allowing others to grow
  • 5. Handling Contributions – constructive comments● Comments should be useful ● To the point ● Provide enough information and reasoning behind the remarks● Positive comments are also welcome ;-)
  • 6. Handling Contributions – Accepting and rejecting● Accept with encouragement● Make rejection not about the person but about the code● Always explain why● Make concrete suggestions for improvements and next steps
  • 7. Coping with the negative – Angry e-mails/posts● Try to understand: Why is he/she angry?● Consider who will read your reply● Hostile vs. almost hostile● Cool down before you reply● Ask a 3rd person (community manager)● Not being listened to
  • 8. Ways of working – Response time What do you think is acceptable?
  • 9. Ways of working – E-mail, IRC, forums, wikis● Assume your audience suffers from tl;dr● Document the outcome of IRC discussions to avoid constant repetition of the same discussion ● In an email to the right list ● In a public wiki
  • 10. Ways of working – How many should be involved?● Splitting up into smaller groups ● Dont cut off a sub-group in terms of processes, contributors, news and so on ● Keep the amount of mailinglists/forums/wikis/IRC channels/... sane● Avoid silos that develop their own negative spiral – jump in when you see them developing
  • 11. Ways of working – Trying to convince others● Anticipate objections beforehand● List the pros and cons● Dont try to convince for the sake of convincing
  • 12. Allowing others to grow – Taking care of newbies● Patience!● Newbies might ask “stupid” questions at the beginning – that does not have to be an indication of their abilities● Try to help find a suitable task for newcomers● Teach and document when new questions arise
  • 13. Allowing others to grow – The benefits of sharing knowledge● Bus-Factor ● Is there someone who could do your job reasonably well if you went awol? How about others around you? ● Document the processes● Sharing knowledge can be to your benefit too ● Improve your skills ● Allows you to move on when/if you want to
  • 14. Questions?!Lydia Pintscher@nightroselydia@kde.org

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