[kde-community] Does KDE attempt to attract experienced contributors?

Laszlo Papp lpapp at kde.org
Fri May 13 10:50:18 BST 2016

Dear Steve (and others),

I am not an experienced person, but I will try to reply below inline. This
topic has got stuck in mind, too, for years.

On Fri, May 13, 2016 at 10:00 AM, Stephen Kelly <steveire at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hello,
> I'm interested in how and whether KDE attempts to attract experienced
> engineers, creators like writers and designers, curators like sysadmins and
> leaders/community managers etc into the KDE community.

> It seems to me that many/most KDE contributors enter as inexperienced, and
> learn the tools and processes as they go, at least in the engineering
> section.
> I'm included in that group - when I started to get involved in KDE in
> 2007 I had no prior experience with SVN, Qt, CMake, or even C++ to a
> large extent, though I had some experience of online communities. That path
> led me to gain lots of experience and expertise in git, Qt, CMake and C++,
> which has formed the basis for my career.
> These days, KDE has many programs to attract young people, largely
> students,
> such as GSOC, GCI, SOK and other outreach. That seems to work well and KDE
> has great experiences and contributors with those programs.

It is great experience to mentor students, especially talented and bright
minds, but some experts, in my experience, would rather prefer working with
other recognised experts in order to solve complex problems.

> Does KDE make any particular effort to attract experienced contributors? Is
> KDE attractive to someone who already has experience in their field?
> Do we know what experienced people need or want? I have the feeling that at
> least for programming, experienced people:
> * Have already gained experience working in teams
> * Already know C++ and Qt
> * Already know the tools they can use to write and debug programs
> * Already know how to make use of issue tracking and CI systems
> * Can create quality designs and implementations
> * Already value git and write good commits
> * Already value code reviews with experienced colleagues
> * Already value unit tests and write them
> * Already have experience in at least one particular
>   domain (be it coding for graphics/audio/video creation,
>   communication/PIM, math/computation, admin, etc)
> What do experienced people look for?

I am looking for talented and experienced people whom it is pleasure to
work with. I can learn from and look at upon them.

> What makes an experienced person spend their time on FOSS?

The other question and in my opinion very important one here is: and for

One reason that I can think of is if they probably already have got a lot
of money or enough for their living standard. So, they are modest with
their financial requirements and can work on KDE or other free FOSS
projects thereof, rather than running a business or freelancing instead.

I do not mean to drag KDE experts away, but it seems that freelancing
platforms have become more and more common. Also, many hobby software
projects have undergone some business path. These generally include lots of
FOSS project opportunities these days in my observation, so yeah, the
question is this really: why would you choose working for free rather doing
something similarly interesting for money and probably also with other
experienced engineers?

Best Regards,
Laszlo Papp

> Perhaps we can make some claims of answers to these questions and related
> ones, and then gather them to try to analyze the truth of them.
> Thanks,
> Steve.
> _______________________________________________
> kde-community mailing list
> kde-community at kde.org
> https://mail.kde.org/mailman/listinfo/kde-community
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