Recently, I noticed David Mandelin’s entry on planet, Regarding his role as a project leader, specifically his explanation of his role as a Glue Person.
From my project leader point of view, as needed I deployed myself as an extra developer to speed things along. In the debrief, Luke called this the “glue person” role. He said having a glue person allowed everyone else to get into the zone and do lots of design work and big blocks of coding–everyone else on the project doesn’t have to worry about random bugs and and other small technical issues because the glue person picks them all up.
The SeaMonkey Project also has someone filling this role, quite helpfully. Surprisingly role is NOT being filled in our case by our Former Project manager (Robert Kaiser) nor myself (my duties primarily reside in Release Engineering) and also not within our current SeaMonkey Council (The primary “Project Management” group) though many of the above do varying tasks, of course.
For us the person the “Glue Person Role” resides with, came to us a bit over a year ago, looking to help. He then met us at our Face to Face meeting in October, in Vienna Austria (invited due to the value we all perceived in his contributions, and the future value in having him come)
In our Bi-Weekly IRC meetings his Bug Fixed list is frequently very very long, and he actively seeks out bugs to fix, mostly choosing from our “Good First Bug” list. I’m coming to call him a jack-of-all-trades myself, even though we all still help with hand-holding every now and again.
I’m sure being a “Glue Person” was not his intention, but his efforts here are greatly beneficial to us in keeping SeaMonkey progressing at the pace we need it to, and ensuring that the minor annoyances don’t file up too high for most of our users.
So after all that,
THANK YOU EDMUND WONG![ewong on irc]
Your work is invaluable and I hope you keep it up. And for those of you reading this, if you always wanted to help, feel free to ask around a project you would like to help with. Being a glue person may not feel glamorous, but it is MUCH more helpful to the rest of us developers than you would believe.
To address leading developers on any project around here, realize the “Glue Person” is also a great reason to spend a bit of extra time helping new people to learn the ropes, or a bit of vocal “well you should peek here” to fix any relatively simple bugs someone wants to help with. We need more people like ewong across all our projects!