Brussels / 2 & 3 February 2013


Getting Serious About the Developer Experience

A critical area on the open source desktop needs serious improvement: the developer experience. There are major barriers to entry for new developers and ongoing challenges even for those of us who have been involved for a long time.

It takes much more time and effort to keep one's code working on top of constantly-changing open source dependencies than it should. Platforms change (in subtle and not-so-subtle ways) more often than they claim. And, all too often, we change our code without adequately checking that we didn't break something in the process.

This talk will examine the current state of the developer experience on the open desktop and discuss processes and policies that we can use to improve it (particularly, automated testing). It will focus on the experience for new developers, maintaining a stable platform (more so than we do now), and guaranteeing code quality. The speaker will address the topic from his perspective as a Gnome developer but the talk will explain concepts broadly applicable to any open source platform or project. As FOSDEM will immediately follow the Gnome Developer Experience Hackfest, this talk will also incorporate conclusions from that conference.


Travis Reitter