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Skilled manpower vs. grunt work (was: Why is help so hard to find?)

Neil Williams <codehelp@debian.org> writes:

> Can the rest of us now actually ask if there is anything we can do to
> get more people involved in helping packaging teams which are openly
> asking for help?

> The problem is a lack of manpower in critical teams. That's not new.

Is the requirement for manpower alone? I thought the problem was a lack
of manpower with the appropriate specific skills.

For my part, the teams that appear to need help most desperately need
people with good skills in specific areas I don't have.

> If nobody is willing to do the grunt work of maintaining the
> alternative, the alternative does not get maintained. That's obvious,
> isn't it?

How much of it is grunt work? Is there a way for willing people, who
lack the specific skills needed by the maintenance team, to bring more
general programming and/or packaging skills to bear on the workload?

Is there an obvious way for people willing to do grunt work to help such
teams (as opposed to the highly skilled work done by the core people in
the maintenance team) to find that grunt work and begin contributing?

 \           “Value your freedom or you will lose it, teaches history. |
  `\     “Don't bother us with politics,” respond those who don't want |
_o__)                               to learn.” —Richard Stallman, 2002 |
Ben Finney

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