Community: Developers vs End-Users vs. Responsibility

A mini flame war last night on between a bug reporter and a developer (not Ubuntu-related) kept popping into my mind throughout my day today. It was basically over the old “As a Developer I Code for ME” argument in response to a bug report.

Now, I am an end-user, and not a developer so this may seem like a bias. I don’t think so. Here’s why:

A user who reports bugs, responds to help requests, or reports bugs, or in any other method of helping improve the community is by their actions implicitly agreeing to become a de-facto member of that community. This often implies a certain conduct and set of responsibilities, such as we have here with the CoC.

Now, developers may or may not be coding for their own reasons, and each one of you have different itches to scratch. But by working on a project that is part of a larger group or community, you are also implicitly agreeing to be part of that group and therefore have certain responsibilities as well. This may mean that end-users are an integral part of the project’s ecosystem, whether you are doing things for yourself or not. That also often means that end-users shouldn’t be ignored or discounted unless they are being rude or mean.

Enough of my rant, now for some gratuitous pics of my ‘kids’ 🙂

twit the puppy

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6 thoughts on “Community: Developers vs End-Users vs. Responsibility

  1. Lol, like the kids. I’ve noticed a greater sense of “I develop for me” particularly in larger projects. With smaller project there seems to be a greater sense of collaboration (probably because it is needed for the project to survive). The smaller projects that cohere to “do one thing and do it well” can do very good and the developer community has a common interest. For larger projects developers often communicate with other developers to make sure their projects don’t break but often are left to their own digression about how to implement it. The rift probably comes from unappeas-able users who expect their developers to do their bidding, or from developers who don’t look to hear what the community has to think about a project. Not a good combination to have these two in a room together ;).

  2. Well, sometimes you don’t want to (or can’t) take the energy and time to provide support for a project, you write code for a particular reason, and just don’t want to throw it into a secret place, you prefer letting other people benefit from it. Reminds me of some projects I started…

  3. While I feel it is good for a developer to listen to others, I disagree with your “implicit” statements. I’m not implicitly agreeing to anything ever. Either I explicitly consent to something or I’ve not consented.

    When I release *my* software to people with a freed license I’m giving them a gift *perhaps* if they find it useful. By doing this I’m not agreeing to make any changes in the future. Now, depending on my schedule, the resources, the availability of team members (on the volunteer teams and the paid teams) I might make a change and frankly probably will. But I am under no obligation to, implicit or otherwise.

    Kind Regards

    • My point was directed at sub-projects of a larger one, KDE in this instance. While users can’t simply demand things (in this case, nothing was) Developers can’t simply dismiss us. At least not in this scope. I don’t expect or demand to be listened to or that my ideas or issues are more valid than anyone else’s. I just don’t think we should be simply dismissed in this case

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