Herding Code 136: Code52 with Paul Jenkins, Brendan Forster, and Andrew Tobin

In this episode, Jon and Scott K talk talk with the guys behind Code52, an effort to spin up a new open source project every week for a year.

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Herding Code 136: Code52 with Paul Jenkins, Brendan Forster, and Andrew Tobin [audio://herdingcode.com/wp-content/uploads/HerdingCode-0136-Code52.mp3]

Show Notes:

  • Jon starts by asking how this whole idea got started.
  • Brendan explains the timeline of a one week spin up cycle for a project.
  • Jon asks if the projects just die at the end of a week, and if people are continuing to work on past projects. Paul and Andrew talk about the continuing work on all projects, including MarkPad .
  • Jon says he thinks the concern of abandoned open source projects is overblown – collaboration is good, working
  • Jon asks about the projects they’ve done so far, and the guys run through the list.
  • Brendan explains how the different projects are selected.
  • Jon asks about how technologies are selected. Brendan says that it’s all based on who shows up, and Andrew mentions the wide variety of technologies that have been covered so far.
  • Paul says that the "bite sized projects" have been a good way for developers who are new to open source to get started. Jon asks how new developers can get ramped up, and Brendan lists some of the onboarding resources. Andrew explains that it’s hard to write much documentation when the projects are running for a week. Andrew mentions some of the Git documentation they’ve got written up.
  • Scott K says he’s got a ton of personal projects that he doesn’t have time for. Everyone talks about the benefit of getting a team on a project for a week.
  • Jon asks about some of the common frameworks that they use over and over. Paul talks about MahApps.
  • Scott K asks about non-CLR project, like some crazy project in obscure languages. Brendan says the main focus is on building something useful in a week, which usually leads towards common languages. Brendan says that projects in other languages really need a "champion" to show up and lead the project for a week – and the door’s open.
  • Jon asks about the community reaction overall. The guys talk about the wide attention, as well as some negative reactions from onlookers who want to see other technologies represented.
  • Jon says he thinks there was some pent up need for energy in the .NET open source space, and asks if that was part of the reason for getting this started.
  • Jon asks Paul about the "Mah" name he’s used for his open source projects.
  • There’s a discussion of developing while hungry, including the Pretzel project name and the "Jon should make me a delicious cake" incident.
  • Andrew talks about the GTFO project – GitHub Tools For Outlook
  • Jon asks about the .NET developer community in Australia. Is it  as huge as it seems?
  • Question from Twitter – @wolfbyte asks: "How do you balance the shifting of tools / ideas / processes against the goal of attracting people to open source development.
  • Another question from @wolfbyte: "Are you guys tired yet?" (Yes!)
  • Jon asks if there’s thought as to how to scale things going forward to all the work doesn’t fall on Paul/Brendan/Andrew for all projects. Is there a possibility to bring in guest leads for a week?
  • There’s a discussion of HattersGonnaHat and the Konami code. Jon announces a new KDD movement: Konami Driven Development.
  • Some discussion of Windows 8 development (update: the 3/5 – 3/12 project is Windows 8).
  • Would it be possible to do more cross-platform work? Silverlight?
  • What will the future projects be? Jon campaigns (in vain) for his Diff/Merge 2000 project proposal.
  • Jon asks for more information about how they run all the behind-the-scenes communications and infrastructure. GitHub, App Harbor, JabbR – all are low friction and low / no cost.
  • Jon asks about the amount of work involved in accepting pull requests.
  • Brendan talks about the test coverage in code submissions. Paul says that having testing frameworks in place makes it a lot more likely that people will write the tests.
  • Brendan wraps with a call to look at Code52.org and get started. Jon pledges to fly to Australia in luggage class, then offends everyone by confusing Australia with New Zealand.

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