Alan Cooper: Open-Source is a Sign of Failure
In the keynote where Alan Cooper proclaimed that Agile processes are bad for developing quality software, he made another provoking statement: that Open-Source is ultimately a symptom of management failure. His point is that with the right enthusiasm and commitment to your products, why would anyone go and work in an Open-Source project on their spare time?
Well, there are plenty of good reasons for doing Open-Source pro bono work; it’s a great way to get experience and widen perspectives for instance, but still, Alan has a point. Many of us are not as content as we could be with our regular work. Instead we’re seeking satisfaction elsewhere.
So, what should our employers do to get our full attention? Here’s my list.
- Creative freedom
Give me a chance to contribute, to be innovative and creative. Let me spend a part of my time doing research and follow paths that interest and inspires me. Google is a great example of a company that understands the importance of this.
- Personal Development
As Ron Jeffries has said, “the river is moving, and if we don’t keep rowing, we are going to drift back downstream.” I think self improvement is a spice of life. If my company provides me with all the books I need (and want), and lets me attend courses and conferences of my choice, chances are I’ll stay with it for life.
People usually do a better job, are more careful and thorough, if they own the thing they’re working on. This is true for software as well. Make me a business partner and I’ll optimize my work according to your business goals.
The human race seems to be immensely better at criticizing than at giving appreciation. Yet, this is what we all crave, and – it has a great impact on how we see our employers. A rewarding salary is one form of showing appreciation, but I also need the outspoken forms.
No one can go on for ever without reaching a finish line. I want to work in a team that is long-term efficient and gets to get done often. Help me divide and I’ll conquer for you.
That was my list, what’s on yours?