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OSCON 2008: Open Source Community Antipatterns

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OSCON 2008: Open Source Community Antipatterns

  1. 1. Open Source Community Antipatterns Ted Leung Sun Microsystems 1
  2. 2. What’s a good community? • Level playing field • Innovation happens elsewhere • Diverse/Sustainable • Hit by a bus number • That human sense of community
  3. 3. Categories • Governance • Communication • Culture/Environment • Merit • Decision Making • Leadership • Balancing Forces • Other 3
  4. 4. Governance 4 http://www.flickr.com/photos/twleung/2669753459/
  5. 5. Wrongly Sized Governance • Too little is bad • But too much is also bad 5
  6. 6. Don’t document • how the governance operates 6
  7. 7. Communications 7 http://www.flickr.com/photos/balakov/853643975/
  8. 8. Keep things private • This is the root of all evil when it comes to building communities 8
  9. 9. Be restrictive about approved media • It’s 2008... do you know what a blog is? • The innovator’s dilemma in governance and media 9
  10. 10. Culture 10 http://www.flickr.com/photos/twleung/2637756567/
  11. 11. Don’t actively pass the culture on • Fail to inculcate culture / way of doing things • leave it undocumented • Don’t actively mentor newcomers • Say “how” but not “why” • The Starfish and the Spider: • The unstoppable power of leaderless organizations • Ori Brafman and Rod. A Beckstrom 11
  12. 12. Rules not guidelines • Insist on rules without principles • Prefer rules and not principled guidelines 12
  13. 13. Be privilege oriented • The opposite is to be responsibility oriented • The bad result is that people seek privileges as opposed to responsibility 13
  14. 14. Build a talk-o-cracy not a do-ocracy • Doing is more important than talking • Talker-not-doer’s are a DOS against the community 14
  15. 15. Make criteria arbitrary or vague • for success, advancement, inclusion • capricious, secret or otherwise arbitrary 15
  16. 16. Keep it professional • That’s a bunch of hooey • Talk like a human not a droid or lawyer 16
  17. 17. Environment 17 http://www.flickr.com/photos/brighton/2154396202/
  18. 18. Make an environment unfriendly to • Under-represented groups • Women • Non-Caucasion people • Non-English speakers 18
  19. 19. Don’t be respectful • This should be an explicitly stated norm 19
  20. 20. Geographical Colocation • is an antipattern. Period. 20
  21. 21. Merit 21 http://www.flickr.com/photos/netsui/1448181277/
  22. 22. Believe that merit • is absolute and absolutely measurable • can be defined along a single or small number of dimensions 22
  23. 23. Don’t recognize Merit • or do it slowly
  24. 24. Decision Making 24 http://www.flickr.com/photos/denverjeffrey/2196784972/
  25. 25. Use lots of procedures • Don’t explain how decisions get made • Have different decision making styles/procedures for different contexts 25
  26. 26. Leadership 26 http://www.flickr.com/photos/lumaxart/2137729430/
  27. 27. Ignore the need for leadership • “I don’t think that word means what you think it means” 27
  28. 28. Try to “manage” • Managing != leading 28
  29. 29. Balance Forces 29 http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikeautry1/644553134/
  30. 30. Be Partisan • Make sure that one or more parties obtain the majority of the benefit / benefit disproportionately 33 30
  31. 31. Other 31 http://www.flickr.com/photos/p-s-e/2272958336/
  32. 32. Make community building someone’s job • Even better, make sure that somebody is not a developer 32
  33. 33. Hire outsiders who have never worked together • It’s all about trust • Trust can’t happen without alignment • Alignment is hard to achieve than we think
  34. 34. Fail to apply open source tools to the governance itself • Accountability for governance/foundation tasks 34
  35. 35. Centralize: Give people turf • The Starfish and the Spider • The trouble starts when there are resources to manage/allocate • Property rights (too much ownership) 35
  36. 36. Questions? Ted.Leung@Sun.com

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