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Interview: Finne Boonen

Finne Boonen will give a talk about "Caret and Stick" at FOSDEM 2012.

Could you briefly introduce yourself?

I'm Finne. I'm currently studying ICT in Business in Leiden, which is a masters program. Before that I studied computer science in Brussels and worked in two internet television startups. At university we used Linux in several classes and in the computer labs, so I installed it on my laptop and over time I got involved in a few communities at various levels.

What will your talk be about, exactly? And what do you hope to accomplish by giving this talk? What do you expect?

What happens if you start mixing paid and unpaid open source developers. I hope to give a few ideas on which things matter if you're trying to have volunteer developers in your open source project. Some of it is just common sense and goes for all-volunteer projects, some of it is more specific to mixing both paid and volunteer developers.

Has there been done much research about what motivates open source developers?

There's been quite some research on individual developers and what motivates them, but there's been little research into communities and ecosystems. And how things that happen at that level influence individual developers.

What are in your opinion the most important pitfalls when a small open source project grows from one or two developers to a big community, and what are your recommendations to make this evolution easier?

Pay attention to how your community develops. It can easily go wrong if you assume it'll all be fine.

In a lot of projects with a commercial entity behind it some developers are paid. What difference does this make for the motivation of open source developers in the project?

It appears to have at least some effect and I hope that my research will lead to some more focused attention there as, as you already mention, there are commercial companies involved who'd really like to have volunteers contributing to their open source project.

Have you enjoyed previous FOSDEM editions?

I did, I've been to most FOSDEMs even. I missed the first one, last year and then one other year when I was on holiday :)

Creative Commons License
This interview is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Belgium License.