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GOP2: 0 - why are we losing developers? (discuss responses)

From: Graham Percival
Subject: GOP2: 0 - why are we losing developers? (discuss responses)
Date: Tue, 26 Jun 2012 16:37:31 +0100
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.21 (2010-09-15)

*** HTML-formatted version:

*** Summary

We’re not in terrible shape, but we’re not in good shape either.

*** Details

Survey sent:

There were 11 responses:
(direct links in html version)

*** Summarize of those emails

Here is a rough summary of the 11 responses. 4 developers (devA
devE, devJ, devK) did not report any “problematic” reasons. Of the
remaining 7 developers, the reported problems are:

Patch-handling (git branch, countdown, staging, etc)    devB
devC, devF, devH, devL

Mailing lists arguments devB, devC, devG

maintenance procrastination; things not getting done    devC

lack of people with specific responsibilities (particularly
mentors)        devC, devD

lack continuous integration environment and really automated
testing devB

no feeling of “teamwork”        devC

too long / too much effort to produce stable releases   devC

number of open issues (overwhelming, demoralizing)      devC

difficult to contribute with windows and a slow computer (lilydev
is not suitable)        devG

feeling that other people could complete a task much quicker

time spent reading+writing emails       devH

Reviews (lack of quantity, to much nitpicking of words) devH

lack of overall vision or roadmap       devH

*** Initial thoughts about the response

Obvious “policy” problems to discuss in the coming weeks: patch
handling, stable releases, roadmap, better testing.

Mailing list arguments are a trickier issue. It’s clearly a big
problem, but this isn’t something we can fix by waving a change of
policy. I’ll schedule a time to discuss it. We need to do
something about this, although at the moment I have no immediate

Lack of people with responsibilities, mentors, lack of reviews
type of reviews, things not getting done, number of open issues: I
don’t see many “policy” that can help with this (other than
generally encouraging people to spend more time and/or eliminating
things which drive people away). It’s certainly to note that these
are problems, though. The best I can think of is to clarify who is
currently responsible for what, and make the vacancies more
apparent. Again, I’ll schedule a time to discuss these.

There are a few problems that I can’t see any real “project”
solution to: difficult to contribute with windows, feeling that
other people could finish tasks faster, time spent reading+writing
email. I suggest that we simply acknowledge that those are
problems, but focus discussion on other issues.

- Graham

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