Hints for Successfully Managing Open Source Projects

Hints for Successfully Managing Open Source Projects

While I am in between employment, I have found working on open source projects as being good brain food for growing my skills. Working on open source projects also showcases the world your abilities, and shows prospective employers the enthusiasm you have for development. With this in mind, it helps to know how to manage open source projects – which is why I found the sourced post a very interesting read. In my reposting here, I have included excerpts from each main point below – ones which I largely agree or assimilate myself with.

The Beginning of a Fantastic Journey

During the first 2 months, it was like a dream: you develop and give life to all the ideas you have in mind. It is pure bliss.

This phase is what I call the preliminaries. Like in a love affair, that is the best period, just before taking it into more serious territory, where complications can happen.

The Puppy Syndrome

While you are the happiest developer in the world, something strange is bound to happen. It will be subtle at the beginning but will soon become more tedious. User feedback will become overwhelming and demanding:

  • Some users will start acting strangely, asking for more and more features and you need to be firm or bring up reasons why you aren’t supporting or don’t intend to support these features.
  • People will ask you to fix their code and thereby monopolizing your time.
  • Others will demand you to completely change the framework to address their needs regardless of your vision and what you want to achieve with it.

Leveraging the Community

You can have the best product in the universe, if you don’t have users, you have nothing.

It is all about being attentive to your user’s needs and questions. Users need to be able to trust your product and having good communication channels that are maintained gives them confidence in your product. The faster you handle requests the more confident your users will become. This is the main building block of how you build the reputation of your framework. You can start with less features than other tools as long as you care about your users.

A Community Forms

If you manage to support your community, they will offer you a wonderful gift. Someone from the community will start answer question from others in a nice and eloquent form – in some cases even better than you could have done it.

If you’re lucky, you will get three kinds of users:

  • Regular users who use your product and ASK questions.
  • Power users who use your product, ask questions and ANSWER questions.
  • Super users who use your product, ask questions, answer questions and CONTRIBUTE code.

Source: Hints for Successfully Managing an Open Source Project

Posted in Agile Development Methodologies, Education, Open Source, Project Management Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

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