Older blog entries for elise (starting at number 14)

life. I guess it's all just life these days until I start work again.... Last night was extraordinarily interesting: it started with a scorpian bowl, and ended with a bail bondsman. I will leave the middle to the imagination of the reader.

I finished my project for Kernel class. Kirk wore a shirt with a rather cute, chubby orange daemon on it. I think that in addition to wearing a different BSD shirt to class each week, Kirk should have a deal where the students can get a different BSD shirt each week as well. Think of the profit! I think that when this class is over, I might actually try writing some code, instead of just reading it.

kernel class is interesting these days. We are covering VM, which is my favorite part of the kernel. Unfortunately, Kirk isn't wearing anymore exciting shirts too class. I need to take up a collection to get more of those shirts that look like they advertise porn movies for him. I finally got serious about my final project, which is due on Thursday. It looks like it will be easier than I had originally thought.

work is certainly coming along. I've found out that it doesn't matter if I work for an 'open source' company or a company that produces proprietary software, I will still be required to deal with Windows boxes. I love it!

life. I want to know why I'm the only one who drinks one drink, and has a 2 day hang over. This is not fair at all.

more on org charts coming up in future diary entries. really. i know you're fascinated.


When I adopted a cat with feline leukemia, I was told that it would be very expensive in the end. It wasn't expensive at all; none of his illnesses could be treated. It was just sad.

Cyber Bowling

I highly recommend cyber bowling after putting a cat to sleep.

Open Source Companies

Can anyone tell me if there are any 'open source' companies that don't use Windows internally?

I really should stop being lazy and read the FreeBSD vm code, which is our homework for this week. After all, it seems to be my favorite part of the kernel, and I'm doing my project on it. I've gone through a few files in the vm directory, the ones that directly concern my project, and I've glanced at the rest, but I need to give them all my undivided attention.

I am amazed at how different all of the open source companies are.


My cat is dying. I'm sad. Kirk didn't wear a porn movie BSD shirt to class this week. More on org charts later.

managing open source peoples

Okay, dhd, I'll turn my thesis into an article. Give me a day or so though, as I'm getting busy these days.

seth's contraversial diary entries

I like your diary entries, Seth. Sometimes I read the whole thing, and sometimes I read parts. If others don't like them as much as I do, they don't have to click on the the schoen link. Choice can be good.

Girl Scout Cookies

I am happy sitting here with my cat, coffee, and Thin Mints (TM). Girl Scout cookies are almost as good as dandelions in the spring.

More on management, org charts, and open source

Split of traditional management duties into several functions:

  • Project Manager. One person to have a handle on all of the projects that the group is working on. This person is responsible for making sure that projects are done on time and don't get lost or forgotten. This person must interact with all of the individuals in the group to be sure that projects move as expected. In addition, this person should also be able to alter expectations should a project need more time than estimated originally. Working with other groups is also a part of this fuction, especially when projects span over more than one group, or when one group is doing a project for another group. To help the project manager, the individuals in the group must update their status on projects in a timely fashion. They must also let the project manager know if their piece of the project is too much to do within the given timeframe, or if there are any other project specific problems.

  • People Manager. One person to know about all of the individuals in the group. This person will understand each group member on an individual basis. They will be in charge of making sure that each person has his or her share of interupt and task driven work. They will know the skill set and interests of each person, and will help to get each group member appropriate education, and send each person to appropriate conferences. This person will make sure that every member of the group has work that they enjoy, is motivated to do their work. This is the person who will make sure that each employee in the group is happy. The employees in the group must do their part to communicate with the people manager their interests, possible ways in which they would like to grow, if they have any dissatisfaction with current or future projects, and if their work environment makes them happy or not.

  • Budgets & Purchasing Manager. This person will be in charge of all financial aspects of the group. This includes weekly work such as signing expense forms, and approving monies for education, conferences, books, etc. Creating and maintaning budgets is also part of this position. Although this person might or might not do any actual purchasing of hardware and / or software, etc., he or she will definately have a hand in knowing what the group needs, making reccomendations, etc. The group will need to help this person by submitting expense reports in a timely fashion, alerting him or her of upcoming educational or conference expenses, and by helping to estimate budgets.

  • Meeting Manager. This might be more than one person, depending on how many meetings the group is required to attend per week or month. If the number of meetings is high, this should be split up into several positions. Each meeting manager would be assigned to certain on-going meetings, or certain types of meetings. For instance, you might have one person to go to 3 meetings that happen every week, and one person who goes to all meetings between their group and another group in the company. However it is assigned, the meeting manager is responsible for having accurate, timely information pertinent to the meeting agendas. He or she is responsible for representing their whole group (and therefore must be in touch with the whole group) in the meetings, and negotiating or offering services on behalf of the group. The group must help the meeting manager(s) by reading any printed adgendas and offering applicable information or advice. Certain members of the group may go to meetings with the meeting manager when specific areas of expertise are needed, however, the effort is to have as few people as possible stuck in meetings when they really want to do tech stuff.

I may be missing some functions that are necessary. This is also just one way of doing things. This particular break out of management duties is intended for a group of about 10 employees who all get along well. In this senario, about 1/2 of the group would do some sort of management, and the other half would do only technical work. All members of the group are required to be technical and to do technical work. The people who do management duties might find it helpful to have a high level of communication both with each other and with the rest of the group. The people, budget, and project managers might all need to meet at the commencement of any large scale project.

I am interested in seeing if different sorts of groups have different experiences and respond differently to this sort of shift in management. For instance, does this work well with a Web group, does a hardware group have problems with parts of the scheme, how does a software group respond? I think that this particular management scheme will only work for specific types of groups, though I can not predict which ones.

Although traditionally organized companies might be opposed to this type of a power shift, the traditional company might realise benefits in employee satisfaction leading to higher employee retension, higher productivity which could lead to higher revenues, and in savings created by cutting operating expenses. The open source employees win by having a real voice in what happens within their group and company, by having a work environment and group that is responsive to each employee's needs, and by not having to deal with managers who lack one or more essential management skills. In the scheme mentioned above, if an employee has issues with the work place, he or she can do something tangible to change it.


I like english muffins. I like bad chinese food. I like some old movies. I do not like animation.

Do Christian companies do things that their church feels are imoral?

Still no dreams. Still no vacation planned. Too many social engagements. Not enough kernel code read. Resume done. Taxes mailed.

lilo says:

Hmm. You're going to have to hire your open source people with this in mind. Some folks have a real allergy to budgets and scheduling. Others are very focused on managing their own projects but may find time spent tracking projects other than their own not so useful. Still others may be willing to spend time on a variety of traditional management duties.

I know that some people want nothing to do with management at all. However, I believe that there are people in the open source community who have talent at managing some things. The person who is good at project management might suck at budgeting. Someone who finds purchasing is interesting might not care if his or her co-worker is happy with the projects that they are working on. To find one person who is good at management, good with people, good with estimating and tracking money, good with the community, has a deep understanding of open source and it's issues, and is technical, is difficult. To expect that there are enough of these people out there fill all of the management positions in all of these 'open source' companies that are sprouting up is not realistic. There are many options to deal with this issue. I am interested in learning about how companies who have large populations of open source employees organize themselves so that all involved are satisfied. I would like to know what works, what fails, and why.

more on org charts

Why should a group have one manager? Take a small group. Put one person in charge of tracking and planning projects. Put one person in charge of making sure that all of the people in the group can do their job, have projects to work on, are motivated to do a good amount of work, etc. Put another person in charge of budgets and purchasing. Have all people in the group do whatever sort of work the group does.

If more of the group has to do management duties, will they be more responsive to the others who do management duties? Will this break down the traditional hierarchy? I do not think that this will scale very well; I'm not so much interested in scalability.

I am interested in having open source employees who can do technical work, and who can find the parts of management that suit them. I want to spread out traditional management duties, and find ways to have employees take active roles in managing their own groups, if they wish to.


are worth going into debt for.

the resume. the hair.

It looks like it's really time to get that resume together. But first, I'm off to get my hair dyed bright red. I can't show up to another interview with roots. It's unbecoming.

kernel class

Well, since I never seem to talk about computers or open source much in here, let me say this: in kernel class tonight, Kirk McKusick wore a shirt that says, "McKusick does Oz." If that's not a title for a porn movie, I don't know what is. Let me also add that I found fork extraordinarily interesting, and exec very boring. What's up with that?


I will soon type about my theories of freeways for Nick. Don't let me forget. It's fascinating, I swear.

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