Assholes are Killing Your Project

Location: F151 Level: Novice
Average rating: ****.
(4.38, 13 ratings)

The strength of your community is the best predictor of your project’s long-term viability. What happens when that community is gradually infiltrated by assholes, who infect everyone else with their constant negativity and personal attacks? Although someone may be a valuable technical contributor, that person will never contribute as much to the project as the many others who are scared away and demotivated.

This talk will teach you about the dramatic impact assholes are having on your organization today and will show you how you can begin to repair it.

Photo of Donnie Berkholz

Donnie Berkholz

Carlson Wagonlit Travel

Donnie is an IT industry analyst at RedMonk as well as an open-source developer and leader of Gentoo Linux. He brings a strong quantitative and analytical background as a Ph.D.-trained scientist to bear on software development and community management.

Photo of Leslie Hawthorn

Leslie Hawthorn

Red Hat

Leslie Hawthorn is director of developer relations at Red Hat. An internationally known developer relations strategist and community management expert, Leslie has spent the past decade creating, cultivating, and enabling open source communities. She’s best known for creating the world’s first initiative to involve pre-university students in open source software development, launching Google’s #2 developer blog, and receiving an O’Reilly Open Source Award in 2010. Her career has provided her with the opportunity to develop, hone, and share open source expertise spanning enterprise to NGOs, including senior roles at Google, the Open Source Initiative, the OSU Open Source Lab, and Elastic. She lives with her partner in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. You can read her thoughts on her blog. If you cheer during movies when you hear the words “I fight for the users” or “Get your head out of your cockpit,” the two of you will likely get along famously.

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Picture of Christopher Neugebauer
Christopher Neugebauer
07/27/2012 2:43pm PDT

Sad that Leslie wasn’t there, but the talk was great, backed up with data, and plenty of insight.

Picture of Shane Curcuru
Shane Curcuru
07/20/2012 9:51am PDT

Sorry I missed it! Can you compare and contrast with the Poisonous People talk?

Also, is there a good directory of these kinds of resources: i.e. not just community etiquette and how to find good community, but how a community-governed group can effectively police the poisonous people that sometimes show up?

Picture of Ben van 't Ende
Ben van 't Ende
06/18/2012 5:57am PDT

Heyla, I am more then interested in your talk. Great the two of you teamed up. I am currently being sued by a company (I used to be co-owner) for my community work. I would be interested to know how you think the Board of an open source project should respond. Currently they don’t want to get involved as it is personally against me. As community manager for the project I feel the board should speak up.

I guess we will also meet at CLS, right?

gRTz ben


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