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Development lessons from the world of open source software

Development lessons from the world of open source software


Andy Lester

October 16, 2011


  1. Development lessons from the world of Open Source Software Andy

    Lester, 9/5/2007
  2. Andy Lester • 20+ years of software development • 10+

    years of open source development • perlbuzz.com • My new news site • perlfoundation.org • PR for the Perl Foundation
  3. Highly successful open source projects Linux, *BSD Subversion Perl, PHP,

    Python Ruby + Rails SpamAssassin Apache vim Emacs Mozilla/ Firefox Wikipedia MediaWiki Mono OpenOffice Eclipse JBoss Tomcat
  4. Process

  5. Requirements are fluid.

  6. Think wiki, not Word.

  7. All development must be in the open.

  8. Coding standards are a must.

  9. Automated testing is the only kind that scales.

  10. Release early. Release often.

  11. Product

  12. The software world is market-driven.

  13. Project X is going to replace your project. Make sure

    you are Project X.
  14. Public perception will make or break your project.

  15. Some projects will fail. Cut your losses early.

  16. Listen to users, but don't bother with consensus.

  17. Every project needs a strong leader to drive.

  18. People

  19. Leadership is earned. It cannot be assigned.

  20. People work best on what they love.

  21. Everyone on a project is a volunteer.

  22. Only this guy has employees for life.

  23. Authoritarianism does not work.

  24. Jerks are toxic and must be removed.

  25. No one is irreplaceable.

  26. A meritocracy does not see race, color, gender, or religion.

    It sees quality.
  27. Importance of social skills increases with physical distance.

  28. People are all that matter. Always be recruiting.

  29. Your next steps

  30. Join an open source project. (Including Wikipedia)

  31. Follow how it works. Apply it to your shop.

  32. andy@perl.org