Stream: project leads (public)

Topic: Interesting Reads

Florian Gilcher (Oct 25 2020 at 18:19, on Zulip):

There's an interesting study out on issues of FOSS projects around sustainability, especially due to skill gaps. It was sponsored by the Ford Foundation, who also sponsored "Roads & Bridges".

The PDF version is fast to read, takes you about an hour. I can highly recommend it, it gives a lot of food for thought.

Florian Gilcher (Oct 25 2020 at 18:22, on Zulip):

(Note: it's an interview study, not a quantitative study)

Joshua Nelson (Nov 27 2020 at 21:45, on Zulip):

For trust and privacy reasons, we limited our set of demographic questions to a minimum. Nevertheless, most opted out of stating even basic information like gender ... since pull requests by observably female profiles are more often rejected [1]


Joshua Nelson (Nov 27 2020 at 21:48, on Zulip):

Longevity: Collectives are persistent, even though contributor numbers fluctuate and the original founders may no longer be involved.
Funding: Little to no first-hand experience, often with a critical attitude towards funding.
Resources: The project has no funds; if it does, distributing them is seen as a challenge.

well this certainly sounds familiar :sweat_smile:

Joshua Nelson (Nov 27 2020 at 22:00, on Zulip):

this bit is repeated like 5 times:

Reach out to people who dropped out of a project in order to learn what factors contributed to them leaving.

Joshua Nelson (Nov 27 2020 at 22:00, on Zulip):

... has anyone done that for former members of the rust community?

Joshua Nelson (Nov 27 2020 at 22:01, on Zulip):

it probably doesn't make sense for Graydon Hoare or other early founders, but I think reaching out to @centril, ecstatic-morse, maybe others would help us know why people are leaving

Joshua Nelson (Nov 27 2020 at 22:20, on Zulip):

I think it's interesting (and maybe not a coincidence?) that most of the authors are women

Joshua Nelson (Nov 27 2020 at 22:21, on Zulip):

@Florian Gilcher thanks for the link :) it was definitely on point

Joshua Nelson (Nov 27 2020 at 22:49, on Zulip): is a good example of this actually - the PR was closed with 'go through the project group process', but without actually saying what the process was

Philipp Hansch (Nov 29 2020 at 09:43, on Zulip):

What an interesting read, thanks!

Individuals often spend more than a year passively reading mailing lists and trying to make sense of the code on their own before actively taking part in discussions and committing to code.

This was true for me as well, although it was only a few months back in 2017.

Clear onboarding mechanisms are the exception, not the rule.

I do think the rustc-dev-guide is close to exceptionally good, but I wonder if it would make sense to have more specific on-boarding paths for different areas of the organization (rustc, tools and all the other teams)?

Last update: Jun 20 2021 at 00:15UTC