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Ping Me, Please!

  • Moscow, Russia
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mood GitHuboss

There is a big difference between distributed and collocated teams: the communication in distributed teams is asynchronous, which essentially means that when you ask something, a response doesn’t arrive immediately. Moreover, it may never arrive. This can be very uncomfortable for those who are used to the office work setup, where most communications are synchronous: any question is answered immediately, one way or another. In open-source repositories, everything is asynchronous. Here is a simple rule that may help you decrease the level of frustration in GitHub projects: ping them every time you need an answer or attention to be paid to your code.

10th & Wolf (2006) by Bobby Moresco
10th & Wolf (2006) by Bobby Moresco

There are four basic scenarios:

  • You submitted a new issue. Post a message asking the project architect to pay attention. Otherwise, the owner of the backlog may miss your issue, and it will not be resolved for a long time.

  • You sent a new pull request. Post a message right in the PR, asking the architect to review it. Otherwise, the architect may simply miss the pull request, and it will stay in the “waiting for review” state for a long time.

  • You made changes in a pull request after code reviewers asked you. Post a message asking them to look at your code again. Otherwise, they may never see the changes you just made.

  • You post any message in an issue or a pull request. Start it with the nickname of the person you are talking to. Otherwise, the person who should help you may not receive a notification about your message, and it will be missed.

Also, listen to what Ben Batler from GitHub said once: You essentially never “walk over” to a coworker’s desk, virtual or otherwise. Whenever possible, prefer issues and chat over “just in time” communications. Simply put, don’t text me in Telegram.

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