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Sustaining Momentum - or the Gap Between User Request and Developer Capacity

Project: Subsurface

Open source projects go through an interesting life cycle. It usually starts with an idea. Often driven out of a personal need (or want) by a small number of people - maybe one or two or a handful. What follows is the early phase, culminating with the first reasonably useful release (which often is not necessarily the /first/ release).
If the project is interesting and speaks to more people the team can hope to gain more developers, come out with a more refined sequence of releases until the project gets to the point where it is fulfilling the needs of the people who started it. This is where things get interesting. Does development slow down and stagnate? Does it gain lots of user and consequently gets overrun by support and feature request? Is it able to attract more developers to stem that tide?

This talk will focus on that phase of a product, on the balance between gaining users, gaining developers, understanding what the project needs to grow and when and where it is important to say no.

Subsurface will be used as one of several examples for this process, but this talk is less about Subsurface and more about the process of running an open source project.

Dirk Hohndel

Dirk is Intel's Chief Linux and Open Source Technologist. He has been an active developer and contributor in the Linux space since its earliest days, among other roles, he worked as Chief Technology Officer of SuSE and as Unix Architect at Deutsche Bank. Dirk joined Intel in 2001 and since then has been working in the Software and Services Group with a focus on the technology direction of Intel's Open Source Technology Center and Intel's engagements in open source. His interests range from kernel to user interaction, from massively scalable cloud services to mobile operating systems. He is an active contributor in many open source projects and organizations, various program committees and advisory boards and currently maintains the Subsurface dive log project. Dirk holds a Diploma in Mathematics and Computer Science from the University of W├╝rzburg, Germany. He lives in Portland, OR, USA.