[Product-Developers] Re: How can we win the battle for developers?

Dylan Jay gmane at dylanjay.com
Thu May 8 16:02:31 UTC 2008

Martin Aspeli wrote:
> Dylan Jay-3 wrote:
>> Are other people finding is hard to find good plone 
>> integrators/developers that need work?
>> I just wanted to open this up for dicussion this has been something that 
>> has been troubling me for awhile.
>> Will plone survive if people picking up web development for the first 
>> time prefer php, django, rails or .net to z2/z3?
>> Why do we care?
>> I care in the short term because its hard to expand a business without 
>> developers. Clients face the same problem. If they are cluey their 
>> criteria for picking a platform will included the availability of 
>> development resources regardless of how cool the technology is.
>> but in the bigger picture open source survives by attracting new 
>> developers. If there are no new z2/z3 developers then plone will die
>> right?
>> oh and new developers mean cool new sites or cool new addons, which 
>> means publicity outside the community, which means more work for those 
>> who integrate plone.
>> So how can we win this battle?
> I think there are two ways to look at this:
>  1. You can't find good developers because no-one wants to do Plone work.
>  2. You can't find good developers because Plone is growing and everyone is
> busy.
> If you look at plone.net, there are over 250 companies that offer Plone
> services. I don't think that's a sign of weakness.

Not weakness now but potentially in the future. I think there a lots of 
companies using plone because they have settled on the best technology 
available, ie Plone. It delivers. We all know that.
But my argument is that if all the fresh blood is doing into 
ruby/django/drupal then they will be reinventing the wheel there instead 
of discovering Plone and improving it.

> Plone is never going to beat PHP for attracting college kids who want to put
> together a quick dynamic website (not that this is all PHP is good for, of
> course). That's not necessarily a bad thing, though. Most people who buy
> Plone services also want to deal with professionals with some experience. I
> think Plone has a place in the market for skills and investment, and it does
> reasonably well there.

Professionals all started as collage kids. And many professionals are 
hobbiests who want to play with technology in their spare time at first, 
but that soon terns into a serious skill and that turns into 
contributing to the community or offering their services to others.
These are the people we want to attract. These are the people who will 
use google app engine and django to create some play apps. Or use drupal 
and start telling everyone who extensible and powerful it is. and then 
convince their corporate IT to use drupal for their intranet.
For these reasons I think we can't be too arrogant about what kind of 
developers we attract and how many.

> That's not to say we shouldn't do more to make Plone approachable to
> developers and integrators, of course. The Plone Strategic Planning Summit
> 2008 was largely about how we do this.


I noticed in the summit summary some words about hosting. I think this 
is pretty important for attracting developers and we can do more in that 
area. I don't think any action items got created for this.

I was thinking about how easy we could make plone deployment.
What is it people want to know? How easy is it going to be and how cheap 
is it. With VPS prices coming down you can host a few plone sites for 
$20 a month.
You just have to
- learn some unix admin.
- and find a VPS hoster.
- work out how much memory you need
- and setup a buildout on your machine
- and put your code in svn
- and deploy it to the server
- and then buildout on the server and then run.
Buildout is awsesome and that is so much less than it used to be. but 
can we do more?

Can we make google app engine experience that will work on an ecosystem 
of VPS hosters?

We need a server builder.

Download an installer. It runs the buildout builder and then the server 
builder. Pick from a list of supported Ihosting companies. Hit "go" and 
you have a complete development environment and deployment environment 
all setup for you.

Just an idea.


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