Canonical Voices

Posts tagged with 'developer advisory team'

Daniel Holbach

The Ubuntu Developer Advisory Team has been in place for two or three release cycles already and it’s been a fun journey so far. We’ve got in touch with many many new contributors and old contributors as well. If you don’t know what this team does, here’s what our wiki page has to say:

We

  • Reach out to new contributors, thank them for their work and get feedback.
  • Reach out to people who might be ready to apply for upload rights and help them.
  • Reach out to contributors that went inactive and get feedback from them and offer help.

I personally found this very rewarding as I got to talk to many new contributors and see how they feel about Ubuntu Development.

You can help!

If the above sounds interesting to you and you enjoy engaging socially, if you have made a few experiences in Ubuntu Development and want to help out, please talk to me or comment below. It’d be great to have you on board!

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Daniel Holbach

Some of you might remember when Andrew Starr-Bochicchio send out the Developer Advisory Team’s analysis of the feedback new contributors gave us. It was a great read, told us a lot about how new contributors get involved, but it was a also quite a bit of work.

As we conducted most of our interviews via mail, we had lots of answers in our inbox. As a team, we put them into a Google Doc and after the release cycle had passed, we had amassed 6 months worth of feedback. Sometimes just a few lines which concentrated on just one topic, but sometimes heaps of text covering each and every point of their developer experience.

As we feel this was quite a bit of work, but also worth doing, we want to continue this effort. Still we are looking for ways to improve this. If you have ever done anything along these lines, we’d love to learn from your experience. How can we optimise this process?

A few requirements we have:

  • No surveys. When we reach out to new contributors we are interested in a conversation with them and not necessarily interested in getting them to rate and judge each and every bit they might have interacted with. By reaching out to them, we already ask them to spare us some of their time, a long survey would likely give us more structured feedback, but less responses.
  • No expensive text analysis software.

If you have any ideas how we can optimise the process, please let us know.

Also if you are interested in helping out the Developer Advisory Team, please get in touch.

 

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Daniel Holbach

For more than once cycle I have been involved with the Developer Advisory Team and it’s been a fantastic time. I’ve blogged about it before, but if you need a short intro, you could watch the lightning talk from last UDS about it. Think of it as a team of people who help to make the development experience of Ubuntu more social.

We welcome new contributors to the community, we collect feedback, we help with applying for upload rights and the atmosphere in our team is great.

If you would like to work together with us (here’s the team in its full glory), please get in touch with me or just comment below. If you enjoy interacting with people and have sufficient insight into the Ubuntu development process, we’d be delighted to have you.

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Daniel Holbach

One class of new contributors has always been successful: self-starters who knew what they wanted to do, where to get involved, with possibly some already existing experience or knowledge. For others it’s been a tougher ride.

To remedy some of this, we set up the Developer Advisory Team. We figured that (among other things) reaching out to new contributors who just got their first fix into Ubuntu to thank them, encourage them and ask for their feedback would help us a lot in terms of bringing them into the fold and finding out what current stumbling blocks are.

The team consists of Andrea Colangelo, Andrew Starr-Bochcchio, Bhavani Shankar, Christophe Sauthier, Evan Broder and myself. We’ve been working together for a few weeks now and been reaching out to many contributors to Ubuntu development.

We collected the feedback and put together a report which summarises the experience of new contributors. If you’re in the thick of process definitions, documentations, backlog of review queues and the like it’s very easy to only concentrate on things which are broken or could be improved.

I’d like to take the time to quote a few of the super positive responses we received:

  • “Developers always respond very friendly.”
  • “I’m also very much impressed by the smoothness of online collaboration through launchpad and bzr (wow, would not have thought I’d be praising bzr at some point ). Branching a project to fix a bug and getting that visible to the project’s developers is effortless and lets me concentrate on the actual work.”
  • “Had heard about reviews taking a long time, but didn’t find it to be the case.”
  • “I really enjoyed getting to see my contributions go through the whole cycle from inclusion to available update. Seeing the process was interesting, as I had not known the different stages previously, and it was exciting to realize that a bug fix (simple, but there nonetheless) could go from a proposed fix to being available for installation in just over 24 hrs.”
  • “Much easier than I had expected. I had always assumed that one had to be an official packager to apply a patch to a package and submit it. Overall, it was a surprisingly painless process.”
  • “I think the most positive part of the experience to date has been the realization that the Ubuntu community cares enough to engage in this kind of feedback solicitation. That is simply unparalleled in other projects, and a testament to the many solid reasons so many prefer Ubuntu.”
  • “Overall, the entire was quite enriching and engaging. To be frank, I was desperately waiting for an opportunity to fix an easy bug for quite some time. And, so when I eventually found one, I was overly joyed. Given another opportunity, I will surely contribute again to Ubuntu development.”
  • “The people. Good response from other people, great impression about the whole community.”
  • “Contributing to free and open source projects makes me excited. It is great that I can paticipate and improve Ubuntu. I feel awesome when my work is released. Also I was glad when people found out their problem doesn’t exist in new release.”

Everybody who helps make this happen on a daily basis: give yourself a pat on the back. I’m proud of what we achieve together, and so should you! :-)

Check out the full report if you want to get into the details of the feedback.

If you have comments yourself or suggestions for improvements, leave your comment below.

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