Five messages in, there’s a reply that sends up a red flag for me.
This is the second time hearing a story that’s so similar that it can’t be considered a coincidence.
I’ve mentioned my “Rule of Two” theory of customer/community relations before. It states…
If one person comments, take note but use your best judgment on how seriously to take it. If a second person tells you almost the exact same thing, there’s no guessing, you’ve got trend.
While I would hope that the trend isn’t larger than the two accounts, there’s no way to ignore the fact that Adam’s email echos what another developer said to me just a few months ago while standing in my kitchen drinking beers with my husband.
The trend conveyed by both guys is that there is a tendency for Fedora/Red Hat people to start from scratch rather than start with the finishing touches.
This worries me not because two guys might be feeling frustrated, but that these guys work with different parts of the FP.o/RH organization and have similar stories. I’m also a bit concerned because I’m not up on day to day operations yet I know of two cases.
That leaves me wondering… Who else might be feeling the same way? Is there something about the project culture that encourages people to avoid collaboration outside of the project core? Is it that there are so many resource available that the practice of external collaboration is rusty? Or maybe just the communication conduit between internal and external projects needs a look. (as in – this is why we decided not to collaborate, or this is why I want to collaborate with you)
I’m also a plan-for-the-worst-hope-for-the-best kind of girl and at the moment am thinking not just about the missed opportunities to collaborate on solutions that meet everyone’s needs, but also about letting these concerns grow to become community rifts and/or future barriers to collaboration. You can’t please everyone all the time, but I’m looking the future potential for this to get out of hand.
I can’t pretend I know the answers to any of the above. Just that the Rule of Two is in effect and the powers that be need to give a little time to address the break down.