Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Seven tips for leading FOSS programmers

Filed under
HowTos

Books about management techniques rarely mention how to lead computer programmers. The few that do sooner or later reach for a cliché and compare the effort to herding cats -- J. Hank Rainwater, for instance, uses the phrase as his title. Partly, the comparison reflects how much the topic is outside the corporate mainstream. However, the comparison also reflects the conflicting nature of the job. The typical IT department represents a separate culture within a company, and a successful manager must both understand that culture and act as a bridge between it and the rest of the company, trying to explain each to the other.

've seen dozens of managers -- including myself -- approach this conflict, each with varying degrees of success. My observations here summarize what I believe are the basic facts that managers needs to know to manage programmers. They apply to any programmers, but especially to those involved in free and open source software (FOSS), many of whom develop typical programmer attitudes to an extreme. Although some of the points seem obvious to those familiar with programmers, let me assure you: To outsiders, if their mistakes are any indication, the points still need to be emphasized.

You're in a meritocracy. Prove yourself.

Just because you're in charge doesn't mean you're better

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

Security News

  • Wednesday's security updates
  • This Android botnet relies on Twitter for its commands
  • Android Security Flaw Exposes 1.4B Devices [Ed: Alternative headline is, "Android is very popular, it has billions of users. And yes, security ain’t perfect." When did the press ever publish a headline like, "Windows flaw leaves 2 billion PCs susceptible for remote takeover?" (happens a lot)]
  • Wildfire ransomware code cracked: Victims can now unlock encrypted files for free
    Victims of the Wildfire ransomware can get their encrypted files back without paying hackers for the privilege, after the No More Ransom initiative released a free decryption tool. No More Ransom runs a web portal that provides keys for unlocking files encrypted by various strains of ransomware, including Shade, Coinvault, Rannoh, Rakhn and, most recently, Wildfire. Aimed at helping ransomware victims retrieve their data, No More Ransom is a collaborative project between Europol, the Dutch National Police, Intel Security, and Kaspersky Lab. Wildfire victims are served with a ransom note demanding payment of 1.5 Bitcoins -- the cryptocurrency favored by cybercriminals -- in exchange for unlocking the encrypted files. However, cybersecurity researchers from McAfee Labs, part of Intel Security, point out that the hackers behind Wildfire are open to negotiation, often accepting 0.5 Bitcoins as a payment. Most victims of the ransomware are located in the Netherlands and Belgium, with the malicious software spread through phishing emails aimed at Dutch speakers. The email claims to be from a transport company and suggests that the target has missed a parcel delivery -- encouraging them to fill in a form to rearrange delivery for another date. It's this form which drops Wildfire ransomware onto the victim's system and locks it down.

today's howtos

Openwashing

Games for GNU/Linux

  • Achieve Global Domination in Agenda, Coming to PC, Mac, Linux on September 21
    Agenda, a strategy simulation from Exordium Games where players control an evil organization seeking world domination, will come to Windows, Mac, and Linux on Sept. 21st, 2016. Players will direct covert operations to increase their control over countries' economies, political parties, militaries, science institutions and media outlets. Operations will entail everything from low key kickbacks to military leaders to the brazen assassination of political rivals.
  • Vendetta Online 1.8.385 MMORPG Drastically Improves Chat and Effect Delays
    Guild Software announced the release of a new maintenance update for their popular and cross-platform Vendetta Online MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game) 3D space combat title. According to the release notes, Vendetta Online 1.8.385 is an important milestone, and it's here to drastically improve the chat and effect delays reported by users during larger capship battles by implementing a new dynamic server packet-queuing and priority change system, which was tested internally with 200 close-proximity capships per battle.
  • Looks like Subnautica from the Natural Selection 2 developers won't get Linux support
    This is quite sad, it seems we have been left wondering for a while (years) about Subnautica, but a developer has now confirmed a Linux version is not being worked on.