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Copilot Lvl 2
Message 1 of 3

How do you experience the social interactions on Github and in Open-Source projects in general?

Hi everybody,

 

I am new to open source, but I like coding and working on projects with people, so I am very excited about it. I am fascinated by the philosophy of openess, collaboration and sharing, but I read a lot of articles and blogs from people mentioning a lack of social norms and respect in open source development. They also mentioned problems with unthankful users, driving developers away (and crazy). 

 

I am aware, that most of you are probably very busy working on some really cool stuff (and hopefully not dealing with the above listed kind of problems) but it would be amazing if you could leave some short (or more thourough) comments on what you think about it and if you have ever encountered any of those problems yourself. 

 

Thank you very much

2 Replies
Community Manager
Message 2 of 3

Re: How do you experience the social interactions on Github and in Open-Source projects in general?

Hi @filsatoss,

 

Thanks for being here! Contributing to OSS is very exciting and for yes there are some projects and folks who might make it a little challenging, my best advice would be to not let that discourage you! Choose the tech you are excited about I'm sure you are likely to find other like-minded folks to collaborate with. 

 

Here is an article that touches some of this topics, as well as some useful links to get you going. In the meantime, we're looking forward to seeing you around!


Best,
AndreaG

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Commander Lvl 2
Message 3 of 3

Re: How do you experience the social interactions on Github and in Open-Source projects in general?

[Never been involved in 'corporate' open source, so I can really only talk about small/independent open source.]

 

Some people seem to use "magical thinking" regarding Open Source. A person will create a project, make it open source, and think "I'm gonna get so much great help and good ideas and my project is gonna be big!" Or a person/team/company will say "Let's use this open source project as part of our product! It's free, we won't have to support it, and everything will just work!"

 

This magical thinking can result in the issues you mention. Users don't take into account that developers don't have the free time to fix their problem, or don't have the specific device where the problem occurs, or that their problem doesn't fit in with the developer's goals. Or the developer's failure to market, document, or support the project makes them frustrated because no one is using it, or stepping up to help. Team dynamics can go wrong because the goals of users or team members diverge from the original project goals, and there is no "corporate" structure to constrain bad behavior or project splits.

 

Have I seen any of these problems? Yes. I've seen users asking "why has such-and-such feature not been done, it was requested ages ago!" Yup: I don't have your specific device, the project works for me, your feature isn't a goal for me. Or I had a project with a collaborator, and we actively solicited help: plenty of volunteers but nearly all failed to actually demonstrate willingness to _do_ anything (_and_ my collaborator didn't demonstrate any traction either)! 

 

Please follow-up to let us know how you made out. For good karma, mark a reply as the answer if it helped!