The strength of your community is the best predictor of your project's long-term viability. What happens when your community is gradually infiltrated by assholes, who infect everyone else with their constant negativity and personal attacks? Although one person may be a valuable technical contributor, that one person will never contribute as much to the project as the many people who are scared away and demotivated.
How can you defuse these time bombs and prevent your project's destruction? The level of closeness of personal connections between members of your community has a huge impact on the likelihood a conversation will descend into the kinds of personal attacks that send people running from your project. Another key realization is that technical ability and social ability are orthogonal concepts, and both are a requirement for a competent contributor. You can't just have one or the other, and more of one never balances out less of the other.
This talk will teach you about the dramatic impact assholes are having on your organization today and will show you how you can begin to repair it.
17th–19th June 2009