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Culture of appreciation in dev communities

Github recently released its annual report – Octoverse 2018. Ben Halpern descried an interesting fact about the use of emojis in in Github issue tracker.

According to Github infographics in the report, “the kindest” development community is Ruby developers. In a sense of support and appreciation for other developers via the use of emojis.

Some might say that this metric won’t say much about the “the kindness” of the community. So you might consider also the age distribution of the developers. As younger generation use emojis more often, I would still consider Ruby programming language as a young one (it’s mid 90s). 

On another hand, showing some basic appreciation to someone’s work would retain these people contributing to the community.

People often forget that most of open-source projects are voluntary. So you have to give some feedback to contributors. 

On the contrary, it wouldn’t mean that the world is all unicorns and rainbows. Scott Gilbertson from Wired magazine published an article about the most “swearing” programming communities back in 2011. 

C++ takes top honours, but just barely. Ruby and JavaScript are neck and neck behind C++. 

Wired magazine

We’ve been trying to adapt culture of appreciation in Qobo, whenever we receive contributions from in the wild. So far, we managed to keep our WTF/minute ration quiet low, and show as much positive feedback as we could.

So, whenever you contribute to any of our projects – don’t forget to buy us the beer. It will definitely boost the approval speed  of your pull requests. 

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Development: code of conduct

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Always code as if the person who ends up maintaining your code is a violent psychopath who knows where you live.

Code of conduct – absolutely great thing in the world of open source and overwhelming media. We try to setup a certain pattern of communication with others, to avoid bashing, insults or any other types of miscommunication.

It perfectly works in community organisation. People know their “do’s” and “don’ts”. Every now and then, I wonder why it’s not always applicable to distributed teams, working on common tasks. I’m talking not about the communicational aspect of conduct, – but an actual work.

Apparently, it comes down to styling guides, and “convention over configuration” concept of team work, when you deal with application development with semi-isolated groups, but nevertheless, let’s get ourselves to the lists. We all do like lists:

  • Web Design & Layout structuring
  • Front-end Development
  • Back-end Development

All three disciplines use their own sorcery to get things going, but in between, there’s always a time lose.

Web Design & Layout structuring

Usually, people in charge for it are “super busy” to deal with minor requirements, and you might end up with messy stylesheets, and unstructured HTML layouts in common pages. If you get your head up for a little while, and stop re-inventing wheels, and realise that most of your time you write repetitive components on HTML/CSS, no matter how they look – it’s a win!

Apparently, you thought about using CSS frameworks, like Twitter Bootstrap, or Grid 960 to name a few. If you still in complete denial of the fact, that it’s useful, and keep writing your on CSS every time you get a new client – I’m glad for you, but please, use the standards. It’ll definetely reduce the number of “psychopaths” mentioned above.

Hey, but it’s not the end. ECSS perfectly matches LESS/SCSS. I can ensure you, developers will say “thank you” for that, especially when they have to deal with large scaled application, and side-projects that deal with common stylesheets and building them every now an then.

I really hope, I got you convinced of stop using “input1/input2/btn3” identifiers in your CSS, and spend some time reading the stuff.

Front-end Development
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I’m here not to discuss the callback hell of jQuery, and the mess you might made with all the plugins you googled, but hey, the world has changed drastically. If the stylesheets and HTML layout was done correctly, I’m pretty sure there must be one tiny happy front-end developer that doesn’t have to stay awake all night figuring out how to deal with all that sh###, or maybe simply change his job and move to Ibiza.

The world’s become a better place with JS6 standards, Ember, Angular and React at your fingerprints – make your back-end developers happy!

Back-end Development

Well mate, if you got here, then you definitely made few people happy as you’re still alive, and started thinking about the standardisation of project, and caring about others health. Because these guys are all about standards and they truly know where you live – the most severe type of “psychopaths” in the list so far.

To cut the bashing part of the story, please setup a set of prerequisites for the teams. Get some standards to streamline the shipment of your app.

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