Community antipatterns
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Community antipatterns

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Community antipatterns Community antipatterns Presentation Transcript

  • CommunityAnti-patternsDave NearyNeary Consultingdave@neary-consulting.com
  • “Good artists copy, great artists steal” Pablo Picasso
  • Cargo cults
  • Community anti-patterns: Best Practices Run Amok
  • Cookie licker
  • Symptoms● Community member volunteers for tasks● Progress reports are infrequent & vague ● “Im working on a draft” ● “Its nearly ready to go”● When its suggested someone takes over, the task owner resists ● “Ill make time next week” ● “Ive almost finished”
  • Causes● Desire to have things done well● Best community members always over-commit● Truly believes they can make time● Once committed, handing off task is admitting failure
  • Treatment● Set deadlines on tasks, and reassign when they run over● Make failure OK
  • HelpVampire
  • TreatmentGood newbie docsEncourage recent newbies to answernewbie questionsTeach newcomers how to search foranswers
  • See also: RTFM
  • Command and Control
  • Symptoms● Joint Copyright Assignment● All committers from one company● No public roadmap, unannounced features arrive regularly
  • Justification● Have a company to run● We need to own the code for our business model● The company paid for it, we should be special● Community contributions are small anyway
  • Treatment● Define policies for community access to project resources● Public roadmap process● Exchange influence for control
  • Headless chicken
  • Bikeshed
  • Leadership
  • Mob rule
  • Beware Dunbars Number
  • How do your communitymembers self-identify?
  • Culture of Doing
  • AvoidSmokeFilledRooms
  • TheWaterCooler
  • Fear ofcommunity
  • Work in a glasshouse
  • Open Design !=Design by Committee
  • Black Hole
  • “Ironically, since I started working onSyncEvolution full-time beginning of thisyear, I seem to have *less* time leftcompared to the previous years when Idid it in my spare time" Patrick Ohly“Im too busy to spend time answeringquestions on the mailing list” OpenWengo developer
  • Treatment● Ensure “doing things in the open” is part of the job description● Train managers & engineers in community development● Document who is doing what publicly – and explicitly leave some thing on the roadmap clearly marked “Not us”
  • Broken window
  • Symptoms● Off-topic/bikeshed threads on mailing list● Wiki vandalism/decreased article quality● IRC Signal to Noise ratio decreases
  • Treatment● Document Best Practices● Remind offenders early● Spread policing load around
  • Broken record
  • “Im the bad guy??? How did thathappen? I did everything theytold me to.” Michael Douglas, Falling Down
  • Treatment: Dont be that guy! (A gentle reminder is usually enough)
  • Final thought:Communities are emotional places
  • Community goal:Create a fun, friendly environment where people feel safe sharing
  • Thank you! Dave Neary dneary@gnome.org dave@neary-consulting.com