Programming, Software and Code

Parrot Teams

Parrot contributor Christoph Otto (cotto) posted an email to the list a few days ago about a new Teams concept for the Parrot community. This idea is essentially an extension of an idea I had been kicking around in my own head, and I'm very enthusiastic about it.

The idea is to organize Parrot developers into particular teams, and give each team a particular area of focus and "authority" to get things done. We obviously don't want to get too overzealous and focus more on rigid organization and structures, but we do want to make sure that important jobs are being performed and some people get the chance to take personal responsibility for ensuring that things in the project get done.

There are five teams slated so far, though I'm sure the number will change as we see how teams work and we divide up tasks that need to get done.

One important team, for example, is the architectural team, which will be taking over for the position of architect. The idea is that we get more people involved in that role, increase our bus number, and become less reliant on a single person for such an important task. Let's all commend Allison for the great job she has done in this role for the past few years. However, let's also remember that it was a pretty significant drain on her time, and it's a hard job to do for just one person. It looks like Cotto will be the team leader of the architectural team, though I'm already a member of it as well.

I'm going to be the team leader for the new "Product Management" team. I'm still coming to grips myself with what this new team is supposed to be doing, because the proposal is still young and there are many roles and things that need defining. At the basic level, the Product Management team is supposed to interact with users, and form a comprehensive vision of Parrot as a user-facing product. This is very likely going to have implications in several areas of Parrot, including the embedding/extension interface, compilers for PIR/Lorito, tools, libraries, etc. My goal, at least initially, is to make sure that Parrot is serving the needs of our users, and that Parrot becomes a compelling platform for people to work on. You can damn sure expect more blog posts about these things!

I am going to try to solicit new membership to this team as best as I can. It's going to be important that we have some enthusiastic contributors here, especially people who have experience developing compilers, extensions, and other related parrot-dependent projects. We're also going to want to establish and maintain close contact with other developers of these kinds of projects, to ensure that we are meeting their needs and ensure that we are pushing to meet and exceed those needs in future releases.

Other teams include the Project Management team currently headed by Jim Keenan (kid51), the Community team headed by Jonathan Leto (dukeleto), and a Quality Assurance team, which currently has no team lead. All of these teams are going to have to take some time to ensure that they properly define their own roles, and find the best ways to perform them going forward. We also need to attract several developers to join all of these teams, to make sure they all have enough "staff" to get the necessary jobs done.

Signing up for a team is easy. Talk to the team lead and ask about how to get involved. You don't need to be a member of a team in order to be a committer for Parrot. I'm looking for people to join the Product Management Team, and I know other teams are going to be looking for new members as well, so definitely get involved if you are interested in something we are doing.

I'll try to put together another post soon with a more comprehensive vision for what the Product Management team will be and what it will do.

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