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Lars Kurth's presentation from Package Owner workshop


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  • Copyright © 2009 Symbian Foundation.
  • Copyright © 2009 Symbian Foundation.
  • Copyright © 2009 Symbian Foundation.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Building Communities Aimed at Package Teams December 2009 Wiki: Building a community for a package
      • The big picture (in case you forgot)
      • What motivates contributors
      • Three steps to get contributions
    • 2. Before we start … Choose a work partner, form a group Copyright © 2009 Symbian Foundation.
    • 3. Welcome! Exercise 1
    • 4. The Big Picture
    • 5. The Big Picture
    • 6. The Big Picture
    • 7. The Big Picture Creates NEEDs to participate & contribute
    • 8. Why Open Source? Copyright © 2009 Symbian Foundation. Value from extra code Open Source Tax Value from eco- system
      • Contributions CAN significantly offset the Open Source Tax
      • Why go open source in the first place, if this was not true?
      • Open source CAN create a vibrant eco-system  more NEED to contribute  even more contributions
    • 9. Owning a package is not free!! Copyright © 2009 Symbian Foundation.
      • Open Source Tax = resource is used because:
        • People in package specific roles spend some percentage of their time…
          • Monitoring and answering questions on mailing lists, forums, etc.
          • Engaging with councils and the foundation
          • Managing package specific resources such as Wiki’s, backlogs, bugzilla, etc.
          • Negotiating with internal stake-holders (within and outside their team)
          • Going to community events
          • Promoting their package
        • Keeping public and internal SCM and bug tracking systems in sync
        • Deciding what features differentiate vs. collaboration
        • Deciding how to work with the competition (commonly called co-opetition 1 ) )
      1) See
    • 10. Contributions don’t just come Copyright © 2009 Symbian Foundation.
      • Consider the following experiences from other open source projects (Eclipse & Apache)
        • If you open source it or built it, they (contributors) will come
          • In reality this rarely happens
          • If this were true, we would have much more contributions
          • Just look at and its many dead projects
        • Getting Contributions = putting in effort = Higher Tax
          • Active evangelism, solicitation and selling your technology
          • You are lucky: technology managers are here to help, but they can’t do it alone
        • Successful Open Source Projects =
          • Technology demand = the technology is wanted
          • Diverse Contributions = many contributions from many companies
          • Alignment between open source and commercial products = yourself and contributors benefit from coopetition
    • 11. So, what does this mean? Copyright © 2009 Symbian Foundation. Put in little Put in enough = Get contributions
      • Few contributions
      • Little to offset the Open Source Tax
      • Development has just become
        • more complex
        • more expensive
      • … for no return
      • Contributions offset the Open Source Tax
            • can also help reduce risk!
            • can lead to better technical solutions (different viewpoints make better use-cases)
      • Development has become cheaper
          • but not necessarily simpler !
      • Your team can focus on features that differentiate
      (assuming the Open Governance model)
    • 12. Green Shoots: Organizer package Copyright © 2009 Symbian Foundation. Sharad, the organizer package has been working with SUN to add CalDav support to the calendar app. Sharad put a lot of effort working with Max Max, the committer has been VERY active at SEE The SUN feature will be used by Nokia SUN has NOW a committer on the package (Max Odendahl)
    • 13. Welcome! Exercise 2
    • 14. Welcome! Exercise 2
    • 15. What motivates Contributors … Copyright © 2009 Symbian Foundation.
    • 16. Why would anyone contribute code? Copyright © 2009 Symbian Foundation.
      • Companies and individuals contribute to satisfy a selfish NEED
        • Reduce cost:
          • Avoid re-applying defect fixes onto different releases
          • Avoid branching (and associated costs)
        • Enable other business:
          • Add APIs/Frameworks that enable a service or a product that is sold
          • Add enablers or a to a platform
        • Protect investment:
          • Establish your software as de-facto standard before somebody else does
          • Gain and maintain influence over software that is critical to the business
        • Competitive weapon: gain an advantage over others
        • Legal reasons: copy-left
      • Understanding these NEEDs is one of the keys to getting contributions
        • Often companies are looking to project leads/package owners for advice !
        • Understanding these NEEDs helps convince companies to contribute !
    • 17. Competitive Weapon: some Examples Copyright © 2009 Symbian Foundation.
      • Save cost by collaborating
        • Lower cost producing saleable products and services  cash to spend on differentiators
        • A market position that reassures customers that they won’t be locked in
      • Reset the competition
        • An open-source project, created at the right time, can diminish momentum of closed-source competitors
        • It can change competition from an area where the initiating company is weak to one where it is strong.
        • Example: Google with Android and Chrome OS
      • Prevent a strangle hold
        • Open sourcing a technology aims to prevent the competition from controlling a particular technology
        • Increase the potential of building a coalition =
        • Example: Mozilla prevented Microsoft from controlling HTML and the HTTP protocol.
      • Grow the pond: a tactic to become bigger is to grow the market (the pond)
        • The economic reason why technology firms participate in public standards.
        • Open-source software establishes de-facto standards.
        • Example: Eclipse, RCP and RPM across most Linux distributions.
    • 18. Three steps to get contributions Copyright © 2009 Symbian Foundation.
    • 19. Copyright © 2009 Symbian Foundation. Three steps to get Contributions
      • Step 1: Be present and responsive
          • Landing pages & wikis
          • Mailing lists & forums & bugzilla
        • Step 2: Evangelize your technology – create Buzz
        • Online media such as blogs, etc.
        • Events, talks, meetings, etc.
      • Step 3: Actively recruit contributors
        • This is pretty difficult and requires practice and building experience
      • A supportive package team, where several team members play a role, makes a big difference
      • Not an easy job!
      • The foundation can help with 2 & 3
    • 20. Step 1: Presence Copyright © 2009 Symbian Foundation. Presence is important for companies & people who want to contribute
      • Ask yourself how future contributors find out about your package ?
          • Landing Page
          • Wiki’s
          • Backlogs
      • Ask yourself how future contributors get first in touch with you ?
          • Mailing lists
          • Forums
          • Bugzilla
      Lack of information = Not being present = No contributions Lack of responsiveness = bad first impression = impacts interaction
    • 21. Some tricks regarding communicating
      • Introductions and communication
      • Introduce new community members (e.g. Committers, contributors) on mailing lists or your blog OR ask these people to introduce themselves
      • Encourage people sending e-mail to use your mailing lists
      • Thanking
      • Thank people who raise a bug, provide a patch, etc. on your mailing list
      • Respond
      • Sometimes you won’t have time to respond immediately
      • That’s OK, but respond and say “I can’t do this now, but will get back to you in 2 weeks. Remind me if I have not done so!”
      • Show that they are making progress re contributions
    • 22. Step 2: Evangelize your Technology Copyright © 2009 Symbian Foundation.
      • Evangelizing gets you noticed by potential contributors
          • Every open source community evangelizes
            • Not doing so puts you at a disadvantage
          • Creates potential connections that can lead to contributions
      • Nokia Examples:
        • Gorkem Ercan's blog on Planet Eclipse
        • Ariya Hidayat on Qt Labs blogroll
        • Ken Ryall's blog on Planet Eclipse
      Being present is not enough! Presence only gets you noticed by those looking for you!
      • Channels:
        • Your team’s blog
          • Magnified through blog aggregators, e.g.
        • Conferences
          • Talks & Panels
          • Host Bird of a Feather sessions
        • Host Community events
    • 23. Welcome! Homework
    • 24. Welcome! Exercise 3
    • 25. Now to the REALLY hard part … Step 3: Actively recruit contributors Copyright © 2009 Symbian Foundation.
    • 26. Using and making Industry Contacts Copyright © 2009 Symbian Foundation.
      • Initially use existing contacts that you and your team has.
        • You probably know them already on a personal level
        • Thus, you will feel more comfortable having a discussion
        • They will be more friendly
      • Ways how to leverage existing contacts :
        • Network with people in Nokia who have open source experience
        • Discussions on how your contacts might benefit from contributing (e.g. practice with friendly suppliers and partners)
        • Other team members contacts, e.g. product & line managers, etc. (get introductions, involve them, get their advice, etc.)
        • Companies that work with other open source projects
          • You can learn about their motivation (NEED)
          • Often they like talking about what they are doing and why
      • Be aware of the competitive landscape
        • makes it easier to know whom to approach
        • makes it easier to point out contribution opportunities
      • Talk to your competitors (e.g. at conferences)
          • BUT: align and keep in touch with your managers
    • 27. Where is the NEED? Copyright © 2009 Symbian Foundation. Asking companies for contributions is NEVER enough. Companies and individuals contribute for a reason (a NEED). Ask yourself: What is the incentive for companies to help you? If there is no incentive, there will be no contribution.
    • 28. NEEDs for features creates OPPORTUNITY for contributors Copyright © 2009 Symbian Foundation.
      • Gaps in the platform + products built on top of it = NEED
        • Example: homescreen & extra operator customization capabilities
        • Sharing plans to fill a gap too early can destroy a NEED
        • Not sharing plans erodes confidence in your package
      • Bridges to 3 rd party products and services = NEED
        • Example: peripherals, BSPs, connectors to service APIs – convergence creates many of these
        • Motivation: more sales for the 3 rd party
      • Apps exploiting cutting edge technology = NEED
        • Example: Augmented Reality Apps may benefit from an AR framework
        • Motivation: save cost & influence what the framework looks like
      • Professional services companies may have very different NEEDs, e.g.
        • track record to show their work, to get them more business
      Patterns for NEEDs will differ depending on technology  You will need to learn through experience
    • 29. Other Tactics … Copyright © 2009 Symbian Foundation.
      • The best one is to be able to explain a NEED to a contributor
        • BUT remember: if you explain to an engineer, he will have to talk to his managers first
      • Advertise NEEDs on your blog, on the package Wiki (Hot Bugs = “Attention_Required” keyword), during face to face meetings.
        • BUT: but don't be desperate about it
        • AND contributions still need to fulfil quality, architectural, etc. standards – so don’t take any contribution just because it satisfies a NEED
      • Sometimes you can create a NEED
        • By developing & publishing a proof of concept to a FCL
        • Evangelizing what you have done (on blogs, etc.)
        • This has been shown to work (but will not always work)
      • Foundation staff can help identify NEEDs
      • Check the IDEAS site (
    • 30. Make use of the Foundation Copyright © 2009 Symbian Foundation.
      • Foundation staff have a network of connections
        • In particular Technology Managers, Community Managers and our membership team
        • Bounce ideas and problems past them
        • Get introductions
      • Foundation staff can help identify NEEDs
      • If you approach a company
        • Keep your technology manager informed (builds trust)
        • If you need advice, just ask
    • 31. Personal Relationships are Key Copyright © 2009 Symbian Foundation.
      • Meet face to face …
        • But how in times of restricted travel?
        • Combine with events and already planned travel
        • Always build in a social element: lunches clubs, beers, dinners, stammtisch, etc.
      • Once you have a core set of contributors
        • one face-to-face meeting a year will help solidify relationships
      Meeting face to face makes it easier to build a community It builds trust and mutual respect And helps build a community hat can withstand conflict (which will happen) IF you can make your community a friendly place , where people's opinions are taken seriously and are acted upon, THEN individuals will work harder to convince their management to stay engaged with your package and make more contributions. IF it is NOT a friendly place , with no trust and respect built, they may contribute something and then move on.
    • 32. You SHOULD read ...
      • The Art of Community
        • By Jono Bacon
        • Interesting and relevant
          • Chapter 1 (What is Community). Chapter 2 (Planning), Chapter 6 (Communicating), 7 (Measuring Success) & 9 (Handling Conflict)
        • Free on-line version
      Focuses on how to attract individuals to a community But also on general difficulties, recipes, etc. On building communities
    • 33. Welcome! Make a pledge
    • 34. EPLing the code: the opportunity Copyright © 2009 Symbian Foundation.
      • There will be significant PR created by the foundation
        • This will create BUZZ
        • An excellent opportunity to launch yourself publicly as packages (through on-line media, being at events, etc.)
        • By doing this you are helping yourself AND the foundation
      • Many of the existing negative sentiments will go away, e.g.
        • But Symbian is not REALLY open source
        • Not everybody can see the code
        • Symbian is a closed “club”
      • Opportunities to ...
        • Evangelize your technology (and yourself)
        • Advertise your NEEDS
        • And ultimately to recruit contributors
    • 35. EPLing: Stuff you MUST not forget … Copyright © 2009 Symbian Foundation.
      • As part of preparing for the EPL...
        • Make sure your landing page & wiki stays usable
          • Links to code etc may break!
        • Make sure you have committers , sign them up to mailing lists, introduce them, etc.
          • AND you can delegate to them
        • The code is correct (e.g. verify Quality spreadsheet)
      • REMEMBER:
      Lack of information = Not being present = No contributions Wrong information = bad first impression = impacts interaction Lack of responsiveness = bad first impression = impacts interaction
    • 36. Welcome! Homework