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Old 05-15-2011, 11:45 PM
Iain Lane
 
Default Are you MOTUvated?

(please excuse the markdown syntax and blog-like tone: I originally wrote this
for planet but decided the mailing list would be a better place to discuss)

I'm writing this on the flight back from UDS[^budapest]. Traditionally this
week is when I contemplate my usefulness as a MOTU.

We had a [couple][0] of [sessions][1] this week about ways we can involve new
developers (I'm using developer here to mean what you might incorrectly call a
packager. Think ~ubuntu-dev) and find interesting things for them to do.

One idea I had is holding "projects". Say I'm [running a Haskell transition][2]
which involves rebuilding a couple of hundred packages in the correct order,
checking their dependencies are correct and then uploading to the archive. I
could create a project out of this by describing what needs to be done and what
level of experience someone will need to help me out. Others will do the same
for their projects (whatever they may be), and contributors can then scan this
list for something to work on *in partnership with an existing developer*. The
developer gets some useful help and the contributor gets some useful
experience. Get in contact with me when you next have a project (good
candidates may be transitions or porting work) and we'll work out how to get it
listed.

[^budapest]: Since you asked, it was a really fun and productive week
with some interesting ideas. And Budapest is a really
lovely place. And the Hungarian LoCo team has some great
tour guides.

[0]: https://blueprints.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+spec/community-o-developer-initiatives
[1]: https://blueprints.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+spec/community-o-review-sponsorship-process
[2]: http://orangesquash.org.uk/~laney/transitions/ghc.html

Mr. Motivator
=============

Anyway, that wasn't the point of this post^Wmail.

What I now realise that we completely missed is helping with the motivation of
existing developers. Taking myself as an example, while my motivation in the
specific areas I find interesting remains high, for the goals of MOTU more
generally it is as low as ever. I'm a terrible sponsor. I almost never look at
[this][3] or [this][4] or [this][5]. Do you?

Dear MOTU, how do you feel about your work on Universe and the team in general?
How can we make continued contributions to Universe more rewarding? It is my
impression that MOTU is often seen as a gateway to the more sexy work available
in the main component. Is this accurate? If, as I suspect, it is then why is
that?

I think a big part of the problem is that a lot of the work is difficult,
repetitive and ultimately dull[^desc]. Who wants to grind through a huge list
of failed upgrades and tease out what went wrong? Certainly not me.

The task is daunting, the team small and the rewards scant. When I first got
involved I had little to no perception of the scale involved.

These are my feelings, but I'm really much more interested in hearing from my
colleagues in MOTU. Please let's have a discussion about this. I care a lot for
Universe and feel that it is often neglected in discussions around the
distribution as a whole. We're here to take care of it, and I feel that, on the
whole, we could be doing a better job.

I apologise for the negativity of this post. Actually I do feel that, despite
constantly treading water, we do manage to deliver a decent Universe component
every cycle. If only we could keep the old hands as enthusiastic as they were
when they started. Yes, a big part of our job is to help new contributors be
effective, but we should also be helping ourselves to lead by example.

[^desc]: (advance warning: profanity ahead) In fact, in a similar
discussion at UDS, we described the job of MOTU as
"shovelling shit".

[3]: http://qa.ubuntuwire.com/bugs/rcbugs/
[4]: http://qa.ubuntuwire.com/ftbfs/
[5]: http://people.canonical.com/~ubuntu-archive/nbs.html
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Old 05-16-2011, 05:52 PM
"Jonathan Carter (highvoltage)"
 
Default Are you MOTUvated?

Hi Iain!

On 15/05/11 07:45 PM, Iain Lane wrote:
> We had a [couple][0] of [sessions][1] this week about ways we can
> involve new
> developers (I'm using developer here to mean what you might incorrectly
> call a
> packager. Think ~ubuntu-dev) and find interesting things for them to do.

After attending some of those sessions, I am certainly motivated to take
up some MOTU work again. Not that I wasn't interested before, but since
the archive re-org (which also seems stalled at the moment) it seems
that many people started to think that MOTU was less important than before.

I told a colleague that he should aim to be a MOTU and he asked what the
point is, since "MOTU is going away anyway". For some reason there are a
bunch of people that think that MOTU is obsolete or that it doesn't
exist anymore, it would probably be a good idea to try to fix that

I like the sponsoring stuff that's been planned at UDS and also
happening during the last cycle and I'll spend some time getting
involved with that, thanks for the initiative, it won't go unappreciated!

-Jonathan

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Old 05-16-2011, 08:50 PM
Scott Kitterman
 
Default Are you MOTUvated?

On Monday, May 16, 2011 01:52:53 PM Jonathan Carter (highvoltage) wrote:
> Hi Iain!
>
> On 15/05/11 07:45 PM, Iain Lane wrote:
> > We had a [couple][0] of [sessions][1] this week about ways we can
> > involve new
> > developers (I'm using developer here to mean what you might incorrectly
> > call a
> > packager. Think ~ubuntu-dev) and find interesting things for them to do.
>
> After attending some of those sessions, I am certainly motivated to take
> up some MOTU work again. Not that I wasn't interested before, but since
> the archive re-org (which also seems stalled at the moment) it seems
> that many people started to think that MOTU was less important than before.
>
> I told a colleague that he should aim to be a MOTU and he asked what the
> point is, since "MOTU is going away anyway". For some reason there are a
> bunch of people that think that MOTU is obsolete or that it doesn't
> exist anymore, it would probably be a good idea to try to fix that
>
> I like the sponsoring stuff that's been planned at UDS and also
> happening during the last cycle and I'll spend some time getting
> involved with that, thanks for the initiative, it won't go unappreciated!

There was, for awhile, a plan to do away with MOTU as part of archive
reorganiztation, but that hasn't been the plan for a year now, so we need to
get the word out. It's not random that people think this, but it is obsolete
information.

Scott K

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