Nice webcast by Martin Fowler, Three Years of Real-World Ruby. This talk is probably only of interest to those of you in software development, but for them I think it is an excellent presentation.
At work we have been use Ruby for the last 3 years and have found it to be a powerful language that helps make writing software applications fun. And that is important. By providing a powerful language and a rails framework that takes away much of the drudgery of writing code you can create an environment where develops are happy and productive. We are hiring, by the way.
The talk provides a good background on their experience using ruby to manage projects; and how they manage ruby application development projects.
Related: Combinatorial Testing for Software – Checklists in Software Development – Future Directions for Agile Management
What managers can learn from Open Source by Murray Cumming
: People work on open source projects because they enjoy it. These happy developers are productive developers. Managers of open source projects must ensure that the developers feel valued and fulfilled. They must minimise the tedious aspects of the work to ensure that development remains interesting. Otherwise, projects fail.
Although money can provide some incentive it does not provide as much. Managers who say that money is the greatest motivator are justifying their own poor performance. Managers of proprietary software, just like managers of open source software, must ensure that their developers are motivated properly. It is not enough to think that they should feel motivated.
Open source projects have the benefit of direct feedback from users. Systems such as bugzilla and open mailing lists make it easy for customers to express their needs. That is the necessary first step to satisfying those needs. See the Structural Solutions section.
For instance, proprietary application server projects such as BEA and WebSphere seem deaf to the frustrations of their customers, but the open source JBoss project is happy to hear about those problems and avoid them in its own product.
Standards/Consensus: Open Source projects must conform to, and reuse, accepted, up-to-date standards. Proprietary projects, without the benefit of high visibility or feedback are free to make inferior decisions.
Don’t miss this great essay by Paul Graham: What Business Can Learn from Open Source. And you know what else? I don’t think open source projects use the annual performance review.
Related: Open Source: The Scientific Model Applied to Programming – Dangers of Extrinsic Motivation – What Motivates Programmers? – Open Source Management Terms