Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-project (244 mails)

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Re: [opensuse-project] Don't search developers. Develop them. Events, events everywhere

On 7 May 2015 at 09:13, Efstathios Iosifidis <iefstathios@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
2015-05-07 7:53 GMT+03:00 jdd <jdd@xxxxxxxxx>:
Le 07/05/2015 00:30, Efstathios Iosifidis a écrit :

Hello my friends,

Unfortunately I couldn't make it to the conference due to family
health problems.

I saw the project meeting and I totally agree with Henne. Actually I
was preparing a post about part of what he said.
Here it is:

It doesn't matter if the product is the best (SLEbased, SLEless,
If there are no end users to use and promote it (because usually
developers don't), then it's useless to have it.

Find out WHY you do what you do and just go out and engage people (as
I mention, the term marketing leeds to profits-money).
Go to events, bring more people (prefer end users) to community and
just help them engage-grow.

Help end users to find themselfs in the community. If they like it,
they'll become developers. If they're not interested in developing,
they'll help make our project fantabulous.

The problem with this theory is that it just isn't backed up by reality.

We have spent over 9 years targeting "Everyone, Everywhere"

We do go to more events than we ever have before, with more materials,
and much higher quality materials

And sure, in terms of end users, this strategy has brought in more
users than ever before, the statistics shown at oSC 13 showed that we
were growing well 2 years ago, and more recently 13.2's Download
numbers show that the trend has continued, and probably accelerated.

But what about contributions?

Technical contributions to Tumbleweed are skyrocketing - just look at
the Changelogs posted each week, and that's great

But technical contributions to the Regular Release are in decline.
Building 13.2 fell on the shoulders of a few people. We had something
like 14 bugs found during the 13.2 Beta phase.
And anecdotally, I have a strong feeling that Bugs reported in 13.2
are less likely to get fixed, often because the contributors are
focused on Tumbleweed, and if its fixed there, its hard to justify the
extra work to get it working on 13.2 when (in our old development
model) 13.3 would be around the corner

And in the case of all of the other, non-developer contributions, the
situation we face in our community right now is pretty ugly.
We basically don't have a marketing team any more, the wiki doesn't
get the attention and polish it deserves, our admin team are working
at full capacity and need more help, and so on and so forth.
We have lots of people willing to step up and complain about these
problems, but when we look around and call for volunteers to actually
help, like we did for the 13.2 release process, or oSC 15, we're very
lucky if we get anyone helping at all

Just saying we need to 'develop new developers' is a lot easier said
then done - mentoring takes a lot of time and effort, and relatively
few of our developer contributors have the extra time required to do

And so, the current situation is not sustainable - we need to find a
way of enticing the right people into our Project and to help us
improve it, not just consume the awesome things we're outputting

And so, the suggestion from the Board that we steer the Project in a
direction that directly targets 'Makers', an audience which primarily
encapsulates sysadmins and developers, but also users who overlap
these audiences and/or aspire in that direction

This is an area we're already strong in, technically, and we think
we'll be able to attract the kind of people who naturally, and easily,
are able to both use, benefit from, and contribute back to openSUSE

This isn't an 'abandonment' of our other users, openSUSE will still
work for them as well as it does today, hopefully better, but I think
it's very important that openSUSE has clear direction, a clear target,
which allows us to apply focus to improve our offerings for those
people, and hopefully in return get more new blood into the community
who can contribute back and continue the upward trajectory we
currently have.


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