Monki Gras Presentation on Creating a Developer Community

Feb 6

Written by: Stephen Walli
2/6/2012 3:10 AM  RssIcon

I attended Monki Gras last week. One presentation stood out with respect to Outercurve Foundation projects and developing community. Kohsuke Kawaguchi talked about his experiences building developer communities in the Jenkins community.

There were several key observations:

  • Every developer starts as a visitor to your project site. Some of them may become users. Some of those may become your next wave of developers.
  • Make everything relentlessly easy to do (from download, to use, to source downloads, builds and testing).
  • User support is a great way to convert users into developers. Find ways to push source code in front of them.
  • Modularity is key to allow easy contributions, because collaboration on the same piece of code is hard.

His talk was wonderful. His examples seem so obvious, but he had equally brilliant counter examples (e.g. how hard it is to download Glassfish, slides 10-13). His slides are available on SlideShare, and I would encourage all gallery managers, project leaders, and committers have a read.

Lastly, I wrote a longer description of the conference overall on my personal blog.

Update [15 Feb 2012]: I have also written on Network World about three perspectives on the care and feeding of development communities based on three talks from Monk Gras, including Kohsuke's talk.

Photo: Kohsuke Kawaguchi presenting at Monki Gras

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