How to do things

Yeah, so I’m at Akademy. It’s awesome. But there are plenty of other blog posts saying that and I don’t feel I have a lot to add really, nothing that hasn’t already been on the Dot anyway.

So this is more about some of the things I’ve noticed about our community at Akademy: goals and consensus.


We have some massive tasks to do, particularly in promo. Or may be not even particularly in promo, but that’s the bit I’m aware of.

Some of these tasks will take years (having a sane, accepted brand structure for example) and many of them have already taken years (having a sane, accepted brand structure for example). The things that have been achieved since I’ve been watching KDE promo are those things with very well defined goals that are achievable in the short term. They don’t take us all the way to where we want to be, but they get done and make things better, even if not yet perfect.

These are things like making some general purpose leaflets, making the branding improvements, making the software labels, making a KDE booklet (almost done now). These are part of much bigger goals that are not done yet, but as tasks that, ultimately, could be implemented by a few people in a few months they looked achievable and were achieved.

Picture of Frederik presenting Fluffy

Fluffy, as presented by Frederik - a highlight of the conference

Longer, larger plans cannot be done in one go in an organisation like ours. There are many subdomains on that are unmaintained as they were just too large as projects. A full time employee might have done them in months, for a volunteer it is a time commitment that leads to a distant in invisible future – with a good chance that when it is finally delivered it has been superseded by something else.

We are still guilty at times of getting bogged down in big discussions when what we need to do is ‘just do’, but that is getting better. It is preferable to paint the bike shed in a bright green colour that not everyone likes than not to paint it at all and let it rust away.


Something that Aaron mentioned in his keynote speech and very relevant to the Dot and promo teams is the issue of consensus. We are different people with different priorities and different ways of doing things. So, of course, we don’t agree on everything. However, one of the things that really impresses me about KDE promo (and KDE in general nowadays) is the ability of people to express opposing views but then support the consensus decision and work to make it a success, even if they believe it is the wrong way to do things.

As with setting goals, working together on the second best solution (from your point of view) makes more sense than working on nothing at all until everyone agrees. That way, no one ever works on anything.


Well ok, just a little bit about Akademy. Apart from the things that everyone else has mentioned it has been fascinating meeting people and putting comparing personalities on and offline.

It’s also been great to bump into quite a few people currently based in the UK and Ireland. I’ve always had the sense that the UK was pretty dead for KDE, apart from a few of the well known people, but there are far more of us than I thought.

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