Having concluded that I haven’t done anything really to help guarantee the CDT’s success, I do have a few mantras that are hopefully contributing to a healthy community.
- Be open. This was actually pretty hard at first when it was only QNX and then only QNX and IBM/Rational when the only people who cared about what you were doing were sitting down the hall or across town. But with the CDT development community spread around the world, working in the open is critical. In the CDT we have healthy discussions in Bugzilla and on the cdt-dev list and are looking at ways to share ideas and work together more often and more fluidly.
- Equality. A lot of open source projects tend to be dominated by one or two organizations and unfortunately a lot of Eclipse projects are this way. In the CDT, no one dominates. No organization has more than around 5 developers and most are around 2. And there are over 10 organizations involved. We honor the veto committer voting system so we aim to get consensus before taking big steps and usually do.
- Spread the Word. At times I feel like I’m a part of our marketing team here at QNX, and I guess part of my role is that. You can hope people stumble onto your project and get interested, but the media has a role to play helping you spread the word. And with the number of online magazines and webinar services in business now, they are always looking for a new angle. Take advantage of it.
That’s the main ones I can think of right now. The funny thing is that, as a developer, all of them go against the grain of who we are. We all love the code we write and feel we are owed some degree of ownership over it and feel we don’t need to explain it to anyone. But as soon as you click that Commit button, it’s out there for anyone to see, change, criticize. The best rule of thumb I have is to be open and honest about my work and to appreciate the opinions and ideas of others. We’re all in this together, no matter who signs our paychecks.