Chris Grams interviews Chris Blizzard at opensource.com on the topic of building community in open source. The five questions in question are:
1. When I first met you ten years ago, you were a Red Hat employee with a day job keeping the redhat.com website up and running, and, even then, you were hacking on Mozilla for fun in your spare time. Now you run developer relations for Mozilla, and you’ve had some other amazing experiences, including working on the One Laptop Per Child project, along the way.It strikes me that you are a great case study of someone who has achieved success in the meritocracy of open source by doing good work. Knowing what you know now, if you were starting from ground zero as a community contributor, how would you get started?
2. Firefox is arguably the most successful open source project from a mainstream consumer standpoint. Meaning, it not only has an active community of developers, but it also attracts a broad community of users from all walks of life. Why has Firefox succeeded at reaching a mainstream audience when other open source projects (like the Linux desktop) have struggled?
3. Mozilla has a noble mission, beautifully articulated here, of “encouraging choice, innovation and opportunity online.” What role to do you feel this mission plays in attracting developers to work on Mozilla projects? Are most developers oblivious to it and just want to work on cool technology? Or is the mission meaningful to them?
4. What’s the dumbest thing a company can do when trying to build an active, engaged community of contributors?
5. And what’s the smartest thing?