[uae] Re: Better handling of the project

On Fr, 29 Jan 2010, Giorgio wrote:

> Hi everybody,
> 
> am I the only on thinking that E-UAE/P-UAE definitely needs better handling
> of the whole project? I mean: Mustafa is developing his version privately,

I just wrote too much about this, so I'll boil it down.  [warning: the boiling
down actually left a load of content.]

There's a perception on the list that there is a 'problem.'  One that needs to
be 'solved.'

 - Except -

I hear _no_ developers asking for people to help set up more repositories,
project tracking, websites, and similar things.

I hear many users offering to do this sort of thing.  This may not be as
helpful as you would think, and thus the developers aren't taking you up on
the idea.

Many of the people on this list are not developers, and while very, very
excited about the prospect of a new version, this leads to impatience, offers
of help that are misguided (or worse) and even comments bordering on offensive.

If you want to help the DEVELOPERS, you should ask them what they NEED.

I will lay GREAT odds that the answers will come back that they need people
to contribute more CODE, and if one cannot contribute CODE, they need some
testers who can contribute USEFUL bug reports.

And I'll almost bet they don't ask for any form of manager overseeing their
project.

(I can just imagine what some of my less informed managers of the past would do
with source code... "Ok everyone, I have organized your source code lines into
alphabetical order. This will help immensely with finding the bugs as you can
search faster."  And they'd have done that in the best of intentions, and would
not see how it could possibly have done harm. Oh, while they were at it, they
got rid of the source code repository as it wasn't helping the director with
understanding what was going on. Hands tied, nothing they could do...)

This said: If you want to set up a form of project management for this, _go
ahead_.  But this is private, independent development in people's spare time.
No one has to use the thing you set up, and don't be dismayed if no one does.

I find the best way to help developers who seem to be in disarray is to _ask
them what they need_, and work WITH them to get that.  Making ANY form of
assumptions based on your own needs doesn't work.

And yes, sometimes the answer is "I need more time, and less people bothering
me."

That is often the hardest thing for people to do.  ESPECIALLY MANAGERS.
(and salesmen... and directors... and members of the board...)  Which is why
some folks ENJOY working independently of all that.

- alternately, you may argue that by using project management, it may all move
faster.  It might.  You'll have to sell this to the developers.

So my suggestion for those people wishing to be more helpful is:
 * Ask the developers what they need.
  a. don't argue with that.  If you don't agree, or have another way, you need
     to convince (sell) that method. Remember: the coder stands between you
     and what you want.  They can shut down, leaving you with nothing.

Also remember, if you're not contributing code, you may not have much say in
the process.  "Too many cooks" syndrome.  And boy, do we have that here.

[I could also point out how coding without money is vastly different; and how
attempts to change 'without money' to 'with money' may not solve the percieved
problem.  Again - ask the developers.  Do they want money?  If no, then they
aren't going to be swayed by money thrown at them - essentially, bribes.]

(yeah this was 'boiled down.')

(And yes, I'm a developer. And right now, I need more time.)

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