Please congratulate GSoC'ers directly (was Re: [Ilugc] google
summer of code 2009)
vamlists at gmail.com
Fri Apr 24 10:49:30 IST 2009
Rahul Sundaram wrote:
> On 04/24/2009 06:18 AM, Vamsee Kanakala wrote:
>> +1. And it will also shut up those forever moaning about India not
>> having enough FOSS contributors. Let a thousand flowers bloom :)
> I hope it doesn't shut up some of the valid criticisms of the general
> lack of contributions in relative terms. GSoC while nice is hardly the
> end of the line. We still have a huge problem of retaining students once
> the project time period is over. Many of them disappear till the next
> year where they might show up in a altogether different project. The
> motivation, if purely monetary is not enough to be sustainable.
Okay, maybe I'm just playing the devil's advocate here - do you really
blame the students for not sticking around? Perhaps they found a better,
interesting project - there's no rule that they have to dedicate
themselves to one project. If I was a student, I have time on my side,
so I'm more likely to 'shop around' for that perfect fit. And foss
projects are not very immune to politics either.
Also, retaining open source developers, interestingly, is very much a
marketing problem - sometimes it needs what you call 'hype' to keep them
interested and motivated enough to stick around. The really popular open
source projects have less of a problem retaining developers than others.
GSoC gives that initial thrust monetary and otherwise, to bring students
to you - how you keep them, is up to you. Not very much unlike
customers, I suppose. Sorry for another business analogy.
I suppose a lot of heartbreak and confusion comes from thinking that
foss is somehow unaffected by monetary/economic considerations - it is
very much so, and managing an open source project's appeal to developers
is being able to walk that thin line successfully. Not that I did this
all myself, but as a Rails developer, I had enough time to analyze the
craze/hype cycle of technology - just some observations.
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