Developer Community Engagement

If you've not been following along at home, pyVmomi was run in a different manner from most VMware Open Source projects. It's been a bit of a social experiment. The last two weeks since our release, I've been working on distilling lessons learned from the past five months of the project.

I did not plan on also looking into rbVmomi ... but ... at the same time just after VMworld a certain blog post started making the rounds on social media. It's clearly an opportunity to examine what we're doing at VMware around OpenSource development projects.

rbVmomi is a more typical VMware fling project. These start as a developer driven POC project and these are developed on a best-effort basis. The rbVmomi project has closed 6 issues and closed 10 pull requests during its entire lifetime as a VMware project.

pyVmomi has benefited from having my attention full time since April/May of 2014. The total number of issues closed to date is 59 with a total number of 70 merges. These differences in numbers shouldn't be surprising, that's to be expected when you go from free time development to full time development. My personal stats have become quite impressive due to the full-time activity on GitHub.

That's all nice for me, but, what does that really mean for the library? What does that mean for developer use, experience, and over-all for VMware? It's a matter of audience and SDK adoption.

Over on stackoverflow, you can see that in its entire life-span rbVmomi has had 9 questions asked as of this writing. That indicates 9 times people who are likely to seek help on stackoverflow have sought help and those 9 times only 4 of those questions got answers.

Taking a look at the same search for pyVmomi yields 24 questions over a much shorter life-span. 

13 of these questions have been answered and 19 of times people voted on the questions where as with rbVmomi no one voted. If you take a closer look, 17 of those questions occur after my full time commitment to the project. In the shorter time-frame my public commitment and effort to the library has helped increase developer engagement with the library improve by an order of magnitude.

The next question is... is this effort worth it? And how do we determine that

I'm open to suggestions. What else should I be looking at?