Lessons about Community from Science Fiction

Communities are one of the defining attributes that shape every open source project, not unlike how Asimov’s 3 laws of robotics shape the behavior of robots and provide the checks and balances that help make sure that robots and community members continue to play nicely with others. When looking at open source communities from the outside, they may seem small and well-defined until you realize that they seem much larger and complex on the inside, and they may even have a mind of their own, not unlike the TARDIS from Doctor Who. We can even learn how we should not behave in our communities by learning more about the Rules of Acquisition and doing the opposite of what a good Ferengi would do. My favorite rules to avoid include, “Greed is eternal”, “You can always buy back a lost reputation” and “When in doubt, lie”.

This session focuses on community tips told through science fiction. While the topic is fun and a little silly, the lessons about communities are real and tangible.

A higher-quality (but huge) version of the slides with notes is also available.

Speakers: 
Experience level: 
Novice