If only I had known what needs to be done...

I just went over the soon-to-be-released report of the Developer Advisory Team, where we sum up feedback from first-time contributors to Ubuntu Development and many noted that they found developer documentation easily and things generally worked out for them, but they struggled finding stuff to work on. The Ubuntu Development team has always been good at creating new TODO lists (merges, Debian RC bugs, build failures, heaps of different bug lists and much much more), but you need to know what you are looking for....

April 10, 2012 · 2 min · dholbach

Making sure code gets reviewed in Ubuntu

New contributors who don’t have upload rights to Ubuntu yet get their code reviewed and their packages uploaded by Ubuntu developers. This process is called “sponsoring” and our current process has been in place since pretty much forever. It has even gotten easier over time, so new branches or patches show up on our review queue. Two years ago when we were struggling with getting code reviewed, we put in place “patch pilots”, a great concept we borrowed from the Bazaar team....

March 15, 2012 · 2 min · dholbach

Putting the Ubuntu Development process to the test

Many engineering teams in the Ubuntu world have made extensive use of User Testing in the last years. This is an important reality check for everyone defining the experience of users. Do my assumptions still hold true? What do users expect? Are there use-cases we never considered? Which steps confuse our users? The Ubuntu developers, so everyone who builds Ubuntu, integrates pieces to work nicely with each other, maintains packages and produces the distribution we all love, everyone is interested in this kind of feedback....

March 15, 2012 · 2 min · dholbach

Hanging out

I’ve been using Google+ Hangouts for a while and some of you might have seen that Jono posted some evidence of these. Mostly I just used them for team calls with a fixed agenda or to keep in touch with friends. Yesterday I did a free-for-all hangout, using the new “named hangout” feature of Google+. It’s basically like a chat room with a fixed URL, where you can discuss whatever is on your mind....

March 9, 2012 · 2 min · dholbach

Today is a good day!

Today is a good day to join Ubuntu development. Here’s your own, personal checklist: You like doing some detective work. Reading some docs or using the terminal does not scare you. You might have tinkered with some source code before. You love Ubuntu and want to help improve it! Here’s how we are going to help you: We have a bunch of friendly people on #ubuntu-motu on irc.freenode.net who are going to answer all your questions....

March 9, 2012 · 1 min · dholbach

Ubuntu Development: answering ALL your questions

As part of our Fix-It Fridays we saw many many new faces joining the #ubuntu-motu IRC channel which always has many helpful developers who are there to answer questions and help if you should get stuck. Still it seems like some feel uncomfortable asking questions or getting their feet wet in this forum. After some discussion we thought it might make sense to have an additional low-key event where you can show up, get to know everyone and ask whatever you have on your mind....

March 7, 2012 · 1 min · dholbach

Welcoming Monday

Welcoming Monday is a lot easier if you have a great weekend to look back to. 32 LoCo teams in 23 countries definitely had a great time at Ubuntu Global Jam. The Fix-It Friday activity continued for hours and I thought it’d be a nice idea to go through just a few bits that came in and showcase what exactly was done, so it becomes a bit clearer what all constitutes as a “fix” for Ubuntu 12....

March 5, 2012 · 2 min · dholbach

Great things coming together

A lot of really great things are coming together right now: tomorrow we kick off Ubuntu Global Jam for the 12.04 cycle, additionally we will have Fix-It Friday tomorrow! The Ubuntu developer community is putting a lot of effort into this event. There will be experienced developers who take the time to answer all the questions you have, help you fix problems, review code for you, use the time to clear up the sponsoring queue....

March 1, 2012 · 1 min · dholbach

Hitting the ground running

Since I heard it, I always like the idiom “to hit the ground running”. There’s no really good German translation of it, but the thought of arriving somewhere, knowing what to do and how to do it definitely has its charm. In practical terms it’s often hard, especially if there’s complicated rules, tools and processes. I won’t deny that there’s an interesting learning experience involved if you want to get into Ubuntu development....

February 29, 2012 · 3 min · dholbach

We had a great Fix-It Friday!

WOW. So this was our first Fix-It Friday and there’s still a few to come until release. Here’s what we collectively got through: Dmitry Shachnev requested a sync for retext. Michael Hall added a quick list entry for geany. David Baucum added a quick list entry for smplayer. bcbc fixed a bug in wubi. Paolo Sammicheli merged acm. Rigved Rakshit fixed a bug in live-build. Barneedhar Vigneshwar fixed a bug in software-center....

February 24, 2012 · 1 min · dholbach

Fix It Friday!

Every Friday… …we hack together with you… …on Ubuntu. It’s no Rocket Science… …but rather a lot of fun! Join us and… …you’ll make lots of friends! Here’s what you need to do: Read the first few articles. Join us in #ubuntu-motu on irc.freenode.net on Friday. Have fun and start making Ubuntu better! More info here.

February 23, 2012 · 1 min · dholbach

Stories and saying thanks

Don’t you love it when you get contributions to your project when you didn’t expect them at all? By reaching out to contributors, thanking them and welcoming them to the Ubuntu community you do a lot to encourage them and help them integrate into your team more quickly. Generally I feel this is part of our culture already. Discussions at UDS indicated what we probably could do better is: do this even more, try to be more personal, talk about it more, because it encourages others and motivates others who might still be a bit unsure about getting their feet wet, generally talk more about what we’re doing and what’s going on, to explain where you need help....

November 30, 2011 · 2 min · dholbach

Weekly Ubuntu Development News

I have been writing weekly Ubuntu development updates for about one cycle now. As many seem to like these updates, it’s time to raise the bar a bit. As I can’t do this just on my own, I need your help. After some discussion with the Ubuntu News team, we agreed that development news can now be submitted to the ubuntu-news-team mailing list by simply sending a mail there with “[dev]” in the subject....

November 21, 2011 · 2 min · dholbach

Survey Summary: Getting involved with Ubuntu development

Some weeks ago, I asked for feedback in a survey about Ubuntu development. Particularly, how well we reach out and how Ubuntu development is generally perceived were focus points of the survey. The great thing is: we had ~350 people replying and we have lots of great feedback and ideas in the results. You can download the summary (including all the answers) here. Let’s use all the feedback to make Ubuntu development even easier....

November 1, 2011 · 1 min · dholbach

Planning Ubuntu 12.04

I love planning a new Ubuntu release. It’s a great experience to take a few steps back and look at the biggest challenges and opportunities in your area of interest and try to identify the most promising. Personally, I want us to get better at involving interested Ubuntu users in the development process. We have gotten better and better over the years, but there’s still things we can do better. The fantastic answers in the survey I announced recently helped a lot to see the issues more clearly....

October 26, 2011 · 3 min · dholbach