Producing Open Source Software is a great looking book which you can read online. I’ve only had time to skim a few chapters but it does resonate with my experiences developing Geograph. While some of it can be applied to commercial teams, the majority of it is about dealing with the unique elements of open projects.
There’s a few things we could learn for Geograph, such as keeping all discussions public unless there is a real need for them to be private. There’s a lot of interesting history lost in email that we should be preserving for any future developers.
Because the Ordnance Survey are sponsoring Geograph out of their 2005 budget, they need to spend it this month!
Anticipating this, we set the ball rolling on opening a bank account for Geograph many weeks ago with Abbey. Every week I called for an update, only be told “you’ll get your account number within a week Mr Dixon”. Last week they told me something new – could be *two* weeks, plus another five days to send my information pack out. They couldn’t possibly tell me my account number over the phone. Oh no. Data Protection Act you see. Data Protection my arse.
So the Abbey have the lost the opportunity of some positive PR from Geograph. They may offer free banking but if you want an account within 6 weeks I’d steer clear.
I’ve now tried NatWest (current slogan: Another Way) and the local branch in Hitchin couldn’t have been more helpful, figuring out exactly how they could get the account open asap. I picked up the forms last wednesday and did a full circuit of the M25 that night to get a signature from Geograph co-developer Barry Hunter. Took the forms back to the branch on Thursday.
It’s now Monday and I have the account details! Well done NatWest! There is Another Way!
I’ve tried this blogging thing twice before, and the trick is to have some focus or purpose. Last time around it was just for logging daft and interesting links that I didn’t need to bookmark, but might want someday. Del.icio.us soon did a better job of that for me.
So what will I write about?
- The Geograph Project – takes up a lot of spare time
- Geocaching - the only activity which gets me outside at the moment
- PHP and C++ software development, as that’s what I spend my days doing
- I’ll undoubtedly throw in a few daft links too
OK! Let’s go!