07/30/15

Nightrose

Evolving KDE – survey results

In April we started Evolving KDE. The goal of Evolving KDE is to take an honest look at ourselves and evaluate where we are and where we want to go. Based on the answers to these questions we can then figure out how to get us there. The result should bring clarity on a number of questions: What do we do, why do we do it and what is everyone’s role in it? We started with a survey for existing users and contributors to figure out how we all see KDE collectively. We have received 202 responses to the survey and gone through all of them. 92 of the respondends identified themselves as users and 91 as active contributors. (The rest specified “other”.) Most of the active contributors are involved casually or intermittent and are involved for 5 or more years. More than half of the survey responses came from Europe. The results (which were already sent to the KDE Community mailing list before Akademy) can be summarized as follows:

What motivates you and makes you happy when contributing within the KDE community?

The responses indicate that most people are motivated by being in a great community. After that the technology is mentioned. Runner ups include: the potential impact one’s contributions can have, identifying with the ideology of the project, scratching one’s own itch and the potential for learning by contributing.

What do you appreciate in the KDE Community?

Survey responses here almost uniformly focused on the friendliness of the KDE Community. Openness was mentioned second-most. People also appreciate that it is easy for them to get support from others inside the community. Runners ups include: technical excellence, diversity and the products we produce.

What holds you back in your involvement with the KDE community?

The most mentioned theme here was time and energy. Among users then came the lack of skills as well as clear tutorials and help pages that give a clear entry point to contributing. There seems to still be deeply-held belief that unless one is a programmer it is not possible to contribute to KDE. Among the existing contributors the most mentioned points were then: a lack of vision and focus, lacking documentation and other help, in-group behaviour as well as a lack of skills.

What are your ideas to improve the KDE community?

Users very clearly demanded better documentation and entry points for newcomers here. After that came focusing on quality, more user-centered development and more outreach. Existing contributors mentioned about equally focus (but opinions differed in what to focus on), improved outreach activities and better documentation for getting involved. Then came a more active role of KDE e.V., outreach to specific groups (women, countries, etc), being more welcoming to commercial contributors and taking a more active role inside the Qt ecosystem.

Imagine yourself as a happy member of the KDE community in 5 years, what does KDE look like?

The answers here focused a lot on bringing KDE’s software to more devices and the cloud and convergence – possibly by being a distributor directly to the end-user. Then came the focus on creating truly excellent free software that is better than any other – not just other free software. Continuing to be friendly and open was another major theme. Overall people expect KDE to be well known, its software used everywhere and still defending the freedom of our users – both by providing them with great free software and doing advocacy. We should be concentrating less on ourselves and more on the big ecosystem we are a part of and work together with other entities in it more closely. Respondents were also in favor of slightly more involvement by companies. Contributors have a clear desire for a vision and strategy. It seems it does not matter too much which vision and strategy it is as long as we have one.

Over the next days I will publish the recommendations based on these findings and thoughts about the next steps.

30 July 2015 10:20:16

07/25/15

Elizabeth Krumbach Joseph

OSCON 2015

Following the Community Leadership Summit (CLS), which I wrote about wrote about here, I spent a couple of days at OSCON.

Monday kicked off by attending Jono Bacon’s Community leadership workshop. I attended one of these a couple years ago, so it was really interesting to see how his advice has evolved with the change in tooling and progress that communities in tech and beyond has changed. I took a lot of notes, but everything I wanted to say here has been summarized by others in a series of great posts on opensource.com:

…hopefully no one else went to Powell’s to pick up the recommended books, I cleared them out of a couple of them.

That afternoon Jono joined David Planella of the Community Team at Canonical and Michael Hall, Laura Czajkowski and I of the Ubuntu Community Council to look through our CLS notes and come up with some talking points to discuss with the rest of the Ubuntu community regarding everything from in person events (stronger centralized support of regional Ubucons needed?) to learning what inspires people about the active Ubuntu phone community and how we can make them feel more included in the broader community (and helping them become leaders!). There was also some interesting discussion around the Open Source projects managed by Canonical and expectations for community members with regard to where they can get involved. There are some projects where part time, community contributors are wanted and welcome, and others where it’s simply not realistic due to a variety of factors, from the desire for in-person collaboration (a lot of design and UI stuff) to the new projects with an exceptionally fast pace of development that makes it harder for part time contributors (right now I’m thinking anything related to Snappy). There are improvements that Canonical can make so that even these projects are more welcoming, but adjusting expectations about where contributions are most needed and wanted would be valuable to me. I’m looking forward to discussing these topics and more with the broader Ubuntu community.


Laura, David, Michael, Lyz

Monday night we invited members of the Oregon LoCo out and had an Out of Towners Dinner at Altabira City Tavern, the restaurant on top of the Hotel Eastlund where several of us were staying. Unfortunately the local Kubuntu folks had already cleared out of town for Akademy in Spain, but we were able to meet up with long-time Ubuntu member Dan Trevino, who used to be part of the Florida LoCo with Michael, and who I last saw at Google I/O last year. I enjoyed great food and company.

I wasn’t speaking at OSCON this year, so I attended with an Expo pass and after an amazing breakfast at Mother’s Bistro in downtown Portland with Laura, David and Michael (…and another quick stop at Powell’s), I spent Tuesday afternoon hanging out with various friends who were also attending OSCON. When 5PM rolled around the actual expo hall itself opened, and surprised me with how massive and expensive some of the company booths had become. My last OSCON was in 2013 and I don’t remember the expo hall being quite so extravagant. We’ve sure come a long way.

Still, my favorite part of the expo hall is always the non-profit/open source project/organization area where the more grass-roots tables are. I was able to chat with several people who are really passionate about what they do. As a former Linux Users Group organizer and someone who still does a lot of open source work for free as a hobby, these are my people.

Wednesday was my last morning at OSCON. I did another walk around the expo hall and chatted with several people. I also went by the HP booth and got a picture of myself… with myself. I remain very happy that HP continues to support my career in a way that allows me to work on really interesting open source infrastructure stuff and to travel the world to tell people about it.

My flight took me home Wednesday afternoon and with that my OSCON adventure for 2015 came to a close!

More OSCON and general Portland photos here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/pleia2/sets/72157656192137302

25 July 2015 00:27:09