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freshmeat.net: A Year of Learning [Leading an Open Source project]

Mar 10, 2001, 19:30 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Luke Ehresman)

"...I'm the founder of the SquirrelMail project. It's safe to say that when we started the project over a year ago, I had no idea what I was getting into. The above-mentioned qualities were nowhere to be found in my arsenal. I've learned a lot of important lessons over the past year, and I thought I'd take some time to share them with you. I'm definitely not the source of all wisdom on the subject (for that, see "The Cathedral and the Bazaar"), but one thing I can say I know for sure is that this past year has been one of growth and learning for me."

"One of the most important lessons I've learned is that when you're a leader of an Open Source project, personal activity and involvement in the project is imperative. I've seen developer activity wax and wane over the course of the development cycle, and a strong correlation exists between developer activity and my personal excitement and involvement in the project. Whenever I took a week or two off, not much development happened. When I was ecstatic about certain aspects of the project, developer response and activity was quite high. It is important that your developers see your enthusiasm so they can share your excitement."

"Your attitude toward the project affects the way things are accomplished. Keeping the attitude light is always a benefit. Joking around on the lists or in an IRC room helps build relationships in your team and makes the whole project more fun. What fun is it if it's all business all the time?"

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