Grand Prix Editorial: Developer Appreciation And Android Community Etiquette
As a former developer I spent many nights working on ROMs until early in the morning, sacrificing sleep for the sake of getting something done. Countless hours were spent with a coffee in one hand and the other on my computer mouse as my body begged me to sleep, my eyes growing heavy. It was to the point where many of my friends and family thought I was crazy for how much time I spent in front of a computer.
Much of the android community is based on how open and diverse android truly is. The first things many of us do, including myself, are root our devices and install a custom ROM or kernel. One thing for sure is none of that would be possible without the hard work and countless hours many developers put into making our vast range of devices better.
What upset myself, what upsets many developers, is the sense of entitlement that seems to have grown over the past two years. No matter what forum I visit I notice some things immediately. Users act like they are owed something from developers and expect what they want. There is a lack of appreciation for many developers and in my opinion the attitude of the community needs to shift. Now before anyone goes off on me, there are people I see who do appreciate developers, donating to them and thanking them in various ways. If you are one of those types of people I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. As I developed, I met some amazing people who stuck by my team’s work and I am forever grateful for them and their support.
Knowing first hand what it is like to have some people appreciate your work and others who just complain or want more I can say that when you thank a developer its one of the greatest feelings in the world. It has been said before but, I’m going to say it again. ROM developers work in their free time, they aren’t paid by anyone and don’t expect to be. Now, I do think the android community needs some new etiquette. The most popular android forums already do a good job with moderating users comments and behaviors but I think changing the android community’s thinking will benefit developers and users alike.
The first one is simple, if there is a problem with the current ROM you’re running don’t bash the developer or the ROM. File a bug report in the way a developer asks or just let them know what the problem is but please don’t make negative comments about the developer or their work. Simply make the suggestion or don’t say anything at all.
Secondly donations are a huge way to say thank you to a developer. The donations don’t have to be much, even just enough for a coffee or red bull is enough. I’m also not saying donate all of the time, but speaking from experience it is nice to be able to get a coffee or energy drink to help stay awake. I’m not saying the community should start donating because someone puts out a ROM, donate if you like their work and use it on a daily basis. Also telling a developer that you’ll only donate if they do something you want them to or get something working is like making a demand. When you think about it, it seems like an insult and needs to stop.
Just to be clear, not everyone acts condescending or entitled so please don’t feel like I’ve been saying you are hurting the community. If the community as a whole followed those two guidelines the android development community will be much more friendly and in my opinion produce even better custom software for our devices.