Becoming an Open Source developer, Dimitris Andreadis


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Writing opensource software is easy but becoming a successful opensource developer is tough. What differentiates the losers from the rock stars? Why so few make it? How one succeeds in the OpenSource arena? Being a member of JBoss for the last 6 years I am lucky enough to have worked together with some extremely talented and successful opensource developers. I've asked many of them about the secrets of their success and I've distilled the collective experience in the OpenSource Developer's Mantra. Come to this talk and find out!

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Becoming an Open Source developer, Dimitris Andreadis

  1. 1. What it Takes To Be An OpenSource Developer By Dimitris Andreadis Software Engineering Manager JBoss Application Server JBoss, by Red Hat OpenBlend : 2010 Ljubljana
  2. 2. About Me  JBoss AS involvement − User (2001), Committer (2003), Core Developer (2004) − AS Lead (2006), AS Team Manager (2009 – to date)  ...and before JBoss? − 7y experience in distributed systems (telcos) − BSc/MSc Computer Science (Athens/Dublin)
  3. 3. Open Source Rock Stars
  4. 4. How they do it?
  5. 5. How they do it?
  6. 6. Open SourceOpen Source Developer'sDeveloper's Secret SchoolSecret School
  7. 7. The Basics
  8. 8. OpenSource Developer's Curriculum  Communication Skills − Etiquette − Project web site − Mailing lists − Forums − IRC − Wikis − Blogs − Podcasts − Marketing  Programming Skills − Algorithms − Programming Languages − Libraries/Frameworks − Build tools − IDEs − Version control − Continuous Testing − Issue/Bug tracking − Profilers/Debuggers
  9. 9. OpenSource Developer's Plan  Find an interesting project*  Follow closely the project developments  Become an active/vocal member  Establish yourself in the community  Climb up the ladder (User, Contributor, Committer, Lead?)  Present the Project at conferences *or start your own
  10. 10. Where to start?
  11. 11. Is that it?
  12. 12. Open SourceOpen Source DevelopersDevelopers WannabesWannabes
  13. 13. Open SourceOpen Source Rock StarsRock Stars WannabesWannabes
  14. 14. Open Source Developer's Mantra
  15. 15. #1 Passion
  16. 16. Passion – you gotta love this stuff  You are going to spend a lot of time doing it − Most probably without pay  You need to take pride and believe in it − How else will others believe in you?  Success is anything but guaranteed − So you may just as well enjoy the journey
  17. 17. #2 Focus
  18. 18. Focus – on the right things  To become an expert − Gurus know few things really well − Avoid distractions  To be one step ahead − What is the next big thing? − What is the state of the art? − What are the latest standards?  Solve real-world problems − Where is the added value? − What can be extended? − What's missing?
  19. 19. #3 Persistence
  20. 20. Persistence – want to be a Champion?  There is no silver bullet − You need to work hard − In you spare time, too  But there are only 24h in a day − Make it part of your work − Make it part of your studies  It is a Marathon − With short Sprints − No Pain, No Gain
  21. 21. #4 Mastery
  22. 22. Mastery – develop your skills  A developer needs 5-8 years of coding experience − i.e. Senior level and higher − How many 10k LOC projects have you coded?  Open Source is a culture of doers − Just get it done, show me the code  Source code is the absolute truth − Study other people's code − The best training you can get may the Source be with you...
  23. 23. #5 Connections
  24. 24. Connections – People I know...  Find mentors/bosses/leaders/teams that inspire you − Seek to work with the best − Prepare to feel intimidated − There will always be a bigger Geek than You!  Communicate effectively − English is the Lingua Franca of OpenSource − Be tolerant to incoming traffic − Be conservative with outgoing traffic
  25. 25. #6 Initiative
  26. 26. Initiative – make the difference  A big differentiator for Open Source developers − They figure out themselves what needs to be done − They do stuff without been told  Maybe this is what “talent” is about − Either you have it, or...
  27. 27. #7 Luck
  28. 28. Luck – when preparation meets opportunity*  Expect the unexpected − Positive and negative surprises  But think positive − No venture, no gain  Prepare the field − And good things will come  When things don't work out at all − Move on! *Seneca
  29. 29. Recap
  30. 30. Recap – OpenSource Developer's Mantra 1. Passion 2. Focus 3. Persistence 4. Mastery 5. Connections 6. Initiative 7. Luck
  31. 31. Believe in Yourself
  32. 32. The End
  33. 33.
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