[Foundation-l] Community, collaboration, and cognitive biases

Aryeh Gregor Simetrical+wikilist at gmail.com
Wed Jun 9 20:06:47 UTC 2010

On Tue, Jun 8, 2010 at 9:28 PM, Aryeh Gregor
<Simetrical+wikilist at gmail.com> wrote:
> It's not specific to Wikimedia, it's practically universal in
> open-source development.  To get it to happen, you need pushing from
> the top: formally stating it as part of people's job duties (so they
> don't feel they have to do "real work" instead), and forcing them to
> engage by only giving them public media to discuss things in with
> their co-workers.  I recall reading that IBM improved its
> participation in the Linux kernel community by getting rid of all
> internal communications among its kernel developers, meaning they had
> to use the public project lists to bounce ideas off anyone.

Here's the reference for that:

Dan Frye's keynote reflecting on IBM's 10+ years of experience with
Linux was easily one of the best of the day. IBM's experience has
certainly not been 100% smooth sailing; there were a lot of mistakes
made along the way. As Dan put it, it is relatively easy for a company
to form a community around itself, but it's much harder - and more
valuable - to join an established community under somebody else's

A number of lessons learned were offered, starting with an
encouragement to get projects out into the community early and to
avoid closed-door communications. IBM discovered the hard way that
dumping large blocks of completed code into the kernel community was
not going to be successful. The community must be involved earlier
than that. To help in that direction, IBM prohibited the use of
internal communications for many projects, forcing developers to have
their discussions in public forums.

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