It always comes in waves
New install…needs work.
There’s one thing I’ve come to understand since I’ve been programming, writing configs, etc. The “Muse” behind creative work, especially in a group setting, has no regard for tempo. There will be weeks of nothing at all happening, and then suddenly, everyone has great ideas and improvements to be made at once. It’s always like this, and I’ve come to enjoy the process much like I enjoy snowboarding. You can’t control the layout of the land, but you can steer yourself down the turns and twists, and hope that the landing will be smooth.
What I will say is that the difference is really made when it’s not just you doing all of the work. Groups work when everyone helps with the load. I’ve been in meetings where “teamwork” is stressed over and over, but the reality is seldom like that at all. In a good project, and almost any FOSS project that I’d be willing to participate in, the load is determined by the capacities of those involved. It’s very “natural selection” in how work evolves and grows, as good ideas are kept and others die off, but the fact is that I’ve seen more teamwork (real teamwork, not just a buzzword) in FOSS than I’ve ever seen in a corporation.
That’s not to say that all projects work like this. They don’t. Still, I’ve been really lucky to have work with people that I trust to make corrections to their own work, double-check mine, and do whatever they feel is best for the project as a whole. This is very surprising in a way, because it’s not like any of us (well, none that I personally know) are making a profit off of this. I assume that it’s because those who are drawn to such work do so because they truly enjoy it.
Still, I’m amazing when an alpha gets pushed up, and within hours someone has tested it and has detailed information about their experiences. HOURS? This normally means that from the moment that it hit, someone started working with it immediately. I have often found myself hard-pressed to get such a response from an engineering firm, who’s job it is to do what guys are doing in their own homes for free. I’m still in awe of how well it works when it works. Other projects I’ve worked on turn into a couple of guys doing everything.
It should be a passion that drives us to push into new frontiers. When that passion is there, and the muse strikes, expect to be overwhelmed with just how much can happen in a short time. Should this be the case, you have to trust those people you are working with, because too much will happen for any one person to manage on their own.