> As someone with little to no experience with Open Source > interaction design projects, I would be really interested to hear > from those of you about your experiences on these projects.
After 13 years of working on the interaction of commercial software
and a couple of years being involved with open source, including
regular discussion on integration at the openUsability meetings
here in Berlin, I can tell you the following:
It never ceases to amaze me how 100% identical commercial and
open source development is. This covers the project management
structures, team sizes (4 agile developers grow into a 100-man
behemoth, and all the knowledge is still only in those 4 heads),
the scarceness of development time and resources, the whole
'selling' process we interaction specialist still have to do
to convert "we have to improve our UI" into "we structurally
have to integrate interaction architecture and usability into
our process." And so on and on.
The good thing about is that what you learn in open source
project can be directly used in commercial space. You can
go to openusability.org, select an open source project
that you find really cool (and whose commercial brothers
would never call you to get their interaction sorted out)
and see if you hit it off with the central people in the
project. If you do, you got yourself a dream job, and
can built up a great reference that can be fully disclosed
(no NDAs), to the minute detail.
Is adobe going to call me to sort out photoshop? Fat chance.
But I have started working on the GIMP and I know that it
going to be really cool.