Sprinting the development

Late yesterday evening I arrived in Wiesbaden near Frankfurt am Main for the Ubuntu Developers’ Sprint. The sprint started this morning, and it is the big halfway point of the Edgy Eft release cycle. All of the Canonical-employed Ubuntu developers are gathered to recalibrate their efforts and coordinate the specifications that were approved in Paris.

The feature freeze deadline – the date when development work on new features stops in order to leave time to fix the bugs that necessarily appear – is September 7th, and is thus fast approaching. And as Canonical Chief Technical Officer, Matt Zimmerman, puts it, this is “The Reckoning. It’s time to make a decision on goals which are behind on progress, and drop goals which aren’t going to make the feature freeze deadline.”

Even though people are hard at work, the atmosphere is still rather relaxed. “Sprint” is the key word here as it is all about getting people together to have them energized and synergized for run-in of the release cycle. Getting people together for quality face time and fast-paced work is an essential part of how Ubuntu is developed.

After the sprint, I’ll be going around Germany, visiting Ubuntu developers to interview them and get a better idea of how they work in a more everyday setting. To that end, I have invested in a 3-week interrail ticket so that I can go around visiting people without having to worry too much about travel expenses. It’ll be fun!

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