keeping spare-time-contributors happy (was: Re: bodhi: Adding "new package")

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On 02.09.2007 08:52, Tim Lauridsen wrote:
> Mike McGrath wrote:
>> Ralf Corsepius wrote:
>>> On Sat, 2007-09-01 at 10:09 -0500, Mike McGrath wrote:
>>>> Tim Lauridsen wrote:
>>>> You guys all know better then to post this to the list -
>>> And you probably know what "increasing the pressure" means?
>>> You bodhi and rel-eng guys know about this bodhi usability deficiency
>>> for quite a while, but nothing much seems to have improved on this
>>> matter since - Actually, this issue becomes really annoying :(
>> then
>> then
>> increasing pressure does nothing to people who don't have enough time 
>> and resources to get their current stuff done.  I can't emphasize 
>> enough how much we need more people looking at the code we're running 
>> and doing work on it.  You can complain all you want but right now 
>> Luke is pretty much the only guy working on Bodhi.  There's only a 
>> handful of people doing 99% of the coding for Koji, Plague, pkgdb, 
>> bodhi, and mirrormanager.  I don't think anyone disagrees that all of 
>> these tools can use some polish but mindless comments on the mailing 
>> list don't help anyone.
>> Those of you wanting something done, create and own a ticket and see 
>> it through until it gets closed.
> I agree, discussing how to make the tools better is a good idea, but 
> contribution is much better, I think Luke has done a great job with 
> bodhi, there is always place for improvement, but flaming don't help 
> anybody.

+1 for Lukes work; good stuff.

But I really dislike Mike's comment.

The whole situation feels a bit like working for a charity organization
in your spare time -- for fun and because you like it. But then the
professional part of that organization and the up-to-then independent
part that took care of the spare-time-contributors merge into one
because it has many benefits for both sides. But during that merge
suddenly your work as spare-time-contributor becomes much harder,
because the professional part now forces you to do way more paperwork
then before. That's frustrating and hindering your workflow -- you are
not that effective as before and the paperwork is boring.

Then you speak up and say "hey, I dislike that; can you fix that please
so it nearly as easy than before". Other spare-time-contributors agree,
but nothing happens for months. Then you again say "I really dislike
that" and then someone from the professional part says "make it better
yourself; just learn foo and bar "(which for most people will be some
days of work if they never touched foo or bar before; time that BTW will
be lost for the stuff you like and do well)" and make yourself familiar
with foobar; then improve it yourself". I'd feel really pissed of at
that point, because I did and do good work in my spare time for one part
of the whole organization, but some people that are responsible for
another part made it my workflow much harder; and not even that, they
even tell me now *I* should invest days of my rare spare time to make
myself familiar with and area I might have no real interest in.

IOW: if the professional part and their people that were responsible for
putting the boring paperwork in place should have an open ear and react
quickly to comments like "you made the workflow harder" or "I'm not as
effective as before" to keep the spare-time-contributors happy, as they
are doing some good work as well -- thus the professional part should
not risk to loose or burn them.


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