Thursday, September 20, 2007

How to work with an open source team

"Free as in Freedom"
"Free as in Beer"

Q: Don't people resent when companies take open source projects and make money off of them? A: More power to them! Many companies are using their employees to do open source. It's good PR for a company to have people who work on open source - give back to the community, attract high-power talent

Don't contribute unless you:
Know the project license
Get permission from your employer
Get legal review if needed
Can communicate clearly in the project language (usually English)

Oracle tried to strongarm Linux, got squashed, came back with offers to help. Good PR! (I'm not familiar with this story!)

Project currency is trust and respect. You don't start with any. Remember, if you're good, you don't have to point it out.

Q: How do you start gaining respect? A: Post to the mailing list, point out bugs AND fixes. Maybe someone will request a patch, provide it

Q: How does the code stay consistent and looking good? A: There are tools, or people who do work to make things consistent. Or, it doesn't :)

Q: How do you get non-coding contributions going (docs, images)? How do non-coders get cred? A: Projects should support people like tech writers, if they're good.

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