This is the work blog for the KDE Visual Design Group a group of dedicated designers striving to improve community participation in design for KDE as well as design work in general for KDE applications and Plasma.

lördag 8 februari 2014

You better work!

In which we gush a little bit of praise for music, talk about personal experiences with work ethics and organizational techniques (from a personal perspective), coming events and talk about the bliss of working with talented people.

Image ©darrentunnicliff,  CC by-nc-sa 2.0

Right now the song Supermodel with RuPaul is going on repeat: "You better work!" I may not "make love to the camera" (which any photo of me will be uncontroversial proof of) but my work ethic and the rest of the VDG teams, could make Martin Luther blush in shame in comparison.


One month have passed since I promised my soul to KDE for a year. Leading up a project within Open Source is one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. Its allot of work but its also a good moment to think about how to organize several talented and genius people within an open structure. Trying to get their talents to best use. Trying to make certain that they will get rewarded for all the genius work they contribute.

The more I think about it the less this has to do with the common AD work I've done before and more with union and nerdy work. I've been a union member most of my adult life and with a background within the left wing (this is in no way a political statement - its just who I am and my background) as well as in the nerdy convention circuit.

There are some lessons from these areas that I take with me into this:

Dig where you stand!
Trying to make things change elsewhere is never as good as starting with where you are. You dig where you stand creating the change you want in the reality you are first then it can spread.

Its not what you say, its what you do!
Talk is easy, but its only in action and movement that we define the direction we're going. Self doubt and care is not as relevant as creating stuff now and fixing them as the issues crop up. Less talky-talky more worky-worky.

Collaboration is better than the Lone Genius!
You suck when you work alone. You might feel empowered by being the one making all choices but you're fooling yourself. You will never be able to keep it up for long and it only works if no one in the world is as good as you. Which isn't true. Swallow that pride and just ask for help. Know when people are better than you, shut up and just learn.

Pride is not the same as Honor!
They may feel the same - but they aren't. Honor is knowing when to back down, pride is refusing to. Honor is being gracious and kind, pride is when you're not. An honorable person is someone who is happy for others successes and helpful when others fail. A person filled with pride is not.
Being proud of what you've done is good - but without some honor its only boastful nonsense.

Always remember the team!
You stand and fall with them. When you take a hit for the team - you will be rewarded for it. When you let them down or betray them - you will ruin it for all. The team should be able to go on with out you, that's what you should aim for - but you can never go on without the team, that's inevitable and unavoidable. Invest in the team - invest in the feeling of a team and you will always come out a head even if you lose.

A magnificent failure is always better than a mediocre success!
This is one of the hard earned ones because its counter intuitive. Failing is never an option until it is. Every time you fail you gain XP because that's when you learn. In all failure but only in the greatest successes. The mediocre ones teach you nothing and will be forgotten quickly. So aim high, crash hard, invest in a helmet.


But lets talk about whats coming for a second. Soon we're gonna go public in a big way. Next week will be allot of work for everyone and we have started to hammer out a workflow which will be based in the KDE forums with constant reposts and reports here, via the mail list and elsewhere (twitter for example and the KDE group at Google Plus).

Three of the team members have been sweating over a homepage that will (with the sys-admings blessings) go up tomorrow if they can tame the beast of weird SSD-things - the adress will be The version they have done is great but will get greater over time with more and more information added as time go by, lets do a quick check list of whats coming:

  • A KDE subforum to post needs as well as suggestions and comment.
  • A set of mood boards and a specified design language available to all, improved over time.
  • A swath of design assets to help the budding designer in their work.
  • A coming questions column where we post all questions we get over mail. Not only about design but designers asking all those tech questions we may be too embarrassed to ask in public. (its fine, we all have them)
But thats whats on the closer horizon - later on plans are to create short courses in design matter available for all.


None of this could have been done without the 13 people, the skilled designers and graphics geniuses in the Visual Design Group that I have the current pleasure to be working with. The work on homepage, sketch-ups for ideas and logo work that has been going on so far has been amazing and next week it will get even more amazinger (it's a word now). 
It's weird, inspiring and humbling asking someone to do it and see them do it better than you ever could! Everyone have done an amazing job but our webteam, Cuan Kneggs, David Brandl and Elena Ramirez have gone far, above and beyond all expectations. 

On monday there will be a more detailed report as well as "things to come" hold on to your keyboards - this year will be amazing!

(as a side note - I, Jens Reuterberg, tend to start writing like a viking saga when tired - allot of split shields and dramatic sayings and considering my current 18 hours of work a day, you will hear allot of Viking Epics from me ;-) )

2 kommentarer:

  1. This all sounds amazing indeed! I'm so glad that it all has worked out so well! And I'm glad that apparently somebody has convinced you that having a homepage for the group is a good idea after all ;)

    1. Hehe I think that person was YOU so... take a bow! :)