"Mihai Guiman recounts how he built an
open source community, FINkers United, around an open source financial application, FinTP. He believes that an open source project cannot succeed without a powerful community to support its development, and explains how FINkers United changed as the project moved from closed to open source. The management structure evolved and he expects new hierarchies to emerge based on merit and contribution. He notes the benefits of joining such a community as sharing interests and having the ability to act on ideas according to your beliefs. He poses a pertinent questions at the end: 'Why would you join an open source community?'"
[ED Note: As most of the Open Source news we hear these days relates to decade-spanning well established projects, it's good to be reminded that this process still goes on, and to reflect on what it means to be building a community-centric news discussion site.]
All that comes second, unless you're primarily a show-off. Interest in underlying software comes first. Without it, there's no urge to participate.And when the interest disappears (you found a better replacement, or you no longer need it), the things you enumerated can keep you in the community for a while longer, but only for limited time.
Quite right, you have to believe in the thing you're working on, that's a primary motivator. But an open source project, nearly any project, has many more sides to it than software.
I'm not sure who's right here, or at least who I agree with. Maybe both of you.
I joined an open source project by accident I made a couple tweaks to a project and because the "head guy" like what I did he asked if I'd take over management of a variant of the project. I agreed and I've been enjoying the kudos I've been getting for it for at least a year now. I was kind of worried it would turn out to be a million people screaming at me, but as it turns out everyone's been really friendly, offered great suggestions and generally seem very happy with the changes I've made and accepted to the project. I've learned a lot and I socialize quite a bit with the other developers.
I primary stay with the project because:
Although those aren't the reasons I join.