This is Part 2 of a blog post series summarizing the Developer Center BoF. See also Part 1: The Developer Experience.
Hi Again! As promised I will now cover our discussion of possible audiences at the GUADEC Developer Center BoF.
“Developers” can mean many things. There are several subclasses of developers we need to take into consideration so we can decide how to scope the developer center. Deciding a primary audience will become important later to take design decisions and align our vision. Note that I say “primary” – to create a good developer experience we still need to ensure a good story for other audiences we care about. In this list, one person may fit into several audiences and all of the audiences will need to be well defined (e.g. with a description):
- GNOME newcomers (interested in contribution)
- Experienced GNOME stack developers (fx library developers)
- Experienced GNOME app developers
- Third party app developers (unfamiliar with GNOME technology)
- Interns (think GSoC or Outreachy)
- Shell Extension developers
- GTK+/Shell Theme developers
- Distribution maintainers
- People who are new to programming
- Programmers from all over the world
- Programmers who prefer video tutorials
- User Interface Designers (?)
At this point we can start identifying some constraints which our users’ behavior and goals depends on:
- What they wish to accomplish (an app, an extension, a design)
- Their familiarity with the GNOME stack.
- Learning preferences (text tutorials, video tutorials,..).
- Programming language preferences
- Spoken language preferences
- and possibly more..
We need to consider which of these we think is important in the short-term and in the long-term. Simultaneously, we need to consider the maintainability of the Developer Center and its content too. This is a list of possible audiences – eventually we should decide on short-term priorities.
Among the six attendees at the GUADEC BoF there was fairly wide interest in having the GNOME Developer Center cater to application developers and especially third party developers. I know that me and Carlos are also interested in having the developer center provide a good experience for newcomers, who share’s their unfamiliarity with GNOME technology and terminology with third party developers. In general, I think catering to application developers is a good approach as more users of our technologies benefit our ecosystem.
By knowing what our developer experience of (Part 1) and with the possible audiences in mind (Part 2) we can start consider what challenges our current experience encounters, which we ought to solve. I will cover this in my last part of this blog post series, Part 3: Challenges.
If you have any additions to the lists above or comments, let us know! Comment on this blog post or on the related Gitlab issue.
At this year’s GUADEC lightning talks I spontaneously announced and arranged a Developer Center BoF (Birds of a Feather) session. We were six attendants who met together Wednesday the 11th July. I think it is important that we communicate our doings to the rest of the community, so I will make a few short blog posts based on our meeting notes and my own thoughts on the subject.
What is this all about?
We are several people in our community who are dissatisfied with the developer documentation experience, in particular if you use bindings and are unfamiliar with GNOME terminology and API. The GNOME Developer Center supposedly provides “all the information that you need to create fantastic software using GNOME technologies” but is not maintained and looks dated. There has been discussions on improving the experience previously, but I feel it’s time to take inspiration from our gitlab migration and organize a proper initiative now (wiki page coming soon).
At the GUADEC 2018 BoF we conducted a bottom-up analysis of our current developer experience which can help lay some foundation for informed decision making. It consisted of the following:
- Define what we talk about when we talk about the developer experience.
- Define possible audiences and identify our primary audience.
- Identify the challenges our current users experience.
- Evaluate other developer center experiences, their structure and experience.
- Create short-term and long-term plans for the developer center and scope it.
In this blog post, Part 1: The Developer Experience, we will define the current developer experience.
What constitutes our developer documentation experience?
What follows is an overview of important sources of GNOME documentation we are aware of. Searching and finding information in these sources constitute the current developer documentation experirence. It might be easy to think that we should only concern ourselves with the developer center itself, but in practice, developers search much wider for help than that. This is a list of things we identified at the BoF and additional information that later came to my mind:
This paints a picture of a very scattered experience, but obviously, the intention here is not that the developer center should unify absolutely everything. However, by knowing what is out there we can in the future make more informed decisions on what the GNOME Developer Center should host itself and what external sources could be useful to link to (and which we can consciously leave out).
The next step in our analysis is then to understand the possible audiences which I will cover soon in Part 2: Audiences.
Is there other important information which has been vital for your GNOME developer experience? Helping understand what our current experience consists of is useful information so we can be more conscious when designing the next generation developer center. Leave a comment here or in this gitlab issue.
If you are interested in contributing to this initative, join the call next week or join the hackfest in February. More information on both of these coming soon.
Birds of a feather flock together..
Monday went with engagement BoF. I worked with Rosanna to finalize the annual report. Please help us proofread it! I have also started collecting information for the GNOME 3.30 release video. If you are a developer and you have exciting features for GNOME 3.30, please add them to the wiki. The sooner you do it, the happier I am.
Tuesday went by with the GUADEC BoF where we reflected on the conference as a whole and identified pain points and how we might improve them. Afterwards, glorious sandcastles were made at the Sandcastle BoF.
Wednesday morning I hosted the Developer Center BoF. It was a productive session where we identified what the developer experience currently consists of, the possible audiences, the variables coming into play, challenges, stakeholders who might be interested in its development and developers centers by other projects equally sized like GNOME. I’ll write a blog post summarizing the BoF soon.
In the afternoon me and Sam recorded audio in preparation for a possible Flatpak Release Video and Britt helped mastering it. I also helped the GUADEC Video Editing BoF with generating intros and outtros for this year’s GUADEC videos.
GUADEC is over and I am going home tomorrow. But there is a lot of stuff coming up in July for me. The GNOME annual report needs final review and publishing. We plan to have a developer center call in the by end of July (if you are interested in participating, please mark your availability here.) We also expect to make a Hackfest for the Developer Center after FOSDEM. And I have the GNOME release video and Flatpak release video on my to do list. GUADEC has been productive and I hope I can work on some of these projects in my free time (help is welcome!).
Thanks to the local team and all volunteers at GUADEC for a great conference!
Day 2 ended with a guided tour inside the Alcazaba of Almería.
Surprisingly, the castle tour featured an exciting belly dance and a bonus theater show starring GNOME’s legendary actors.
Day 3 had plenty of talks like the other days – but I decided to spent it working with Britt on the annual report.
Lastly, lightning talks took place by the end of the day, I spoke about my experience starting Open Source Aalborg (Download PDF Slideshow).
(all picture are CC-BY-SA 4.0, by me)
Yesterday ended with a cozy party at the beach with opportunity for swimming in the ocean and in ice cream. Today, GUADEC Registration and one conference room moved to a new building.
I volunteered as chair conference room all day and saw many exciting talks with many topics such as System76, GJS, Translation and testing.
We had breaks with tea, coffee and delicious eaties sponsored by Slimbook and Codethink.
GUADEC was also in today’s local newspaper – we finally made it to mass media folks!
The conference day ended off with GNOME’s Annual General Meeting which is a great opportunity to reflect on GNOME vision and the amazing progress we are making to achieve it.
(All pictures are CC-BY-SA 4.0 and taken by me)
At 8.30 i took off Thursday morning to start my journey to Almería. I took the plane to Madrid and had 1 hour to get hold of a taxi and reach a train taking me to Almería. There I was fortunate to meet Julian and Tobias who were hacking on Fractal and making mockups.
We arrived 10.30 in the evening at Civitas for pre-registration. I met up with my roommate Niclas, who is also from Open Source Aalborg (Denmark) like myself. The day after started with tomato spread on bread.
Everyone gathered to get with the bus and we arrived to the university.
GUADEC was kicked off in a big hall with Nuritzi, the GNOME Foundation president on stage.
After watching a couple of talks I had volunteered for the infodesk and helped giving attendees lunch tickets.
Of course, I also brought the socks and the GUADEC team had this year’s GUADEC t-shirts for sale.
This wraps up todays’ events for me. I’ve already managed to chat with many GNOMEies again and I’m looking very forward to the next days!
(All pictures are CC-BY-SA 4.0 by me).
Now that my master’s thesis is over, I finally have time to make some noise in here again!
GUADEC is coming up and I’m super excited for it! My hand luggage will be packed with socks and I plan on becoming a red shirt again this year, as is tradition. I can recommend volunteering to anyone who has tried attending GUADEC before, it is an excellent way to get to know some fellow conference attendees.
This GUADEC I also plan helping with the newcomer initiatives, very possibly including a newcomer workshop. I have also volunteered to help making intros and outtros for the recorded talks.
The Engagement team delivers an annual report every year and this year it will cover what happened from October 2016 to September 2017. I have volunteered to do the layout and you can follow it’s progress in the Annual Report 2017 Finalization Gitlab issue. Any help on fixing the last few TODO items in there would be appreciated!
Release Video for GNOME 3.30
GNOME 3.30 is scheduled to release on the 5th September 2018. With GUADEC coming up I want to shift focus onto the release video and collect as much information about new features as possible while I have the opportunity to talk to our awesome GNOME developers face-to-face.
If you could be interested in helping me prepare the 3.30 release video, please follow this gitlab issue for updates. I will continuously update the issue as I and others make progress. With this issue, I hope it is easier for everyone to track the release video development and participate! Let me know if you are interested in helping. Thanks!