A sneak peek inside Ubuntu Skunkworks

The Ubuntu Skunkworks program is now officially underway, we have some projects already staffed and running, and others where I am gathering final details about the work that needs to be done.  Today I decided to look at who has applied, and what they listed as their areas of interest, programming language experience and toolkit knowledge.  I can’t share details about the program, but I can give a general look at the people who have applied so far.

Most applicants listed more than one area of interest, including ones not listed in Mark’s original post about Skunkworks.  I’m not surprised that UI/UX and Web were two of the most popular areas.  I was expecting more people interested in the artistic/design side of things though.

Not as many people listed multiple languages as multiple areas of interest.  As a programmer myself, I’d encourage other programmers to expand their knowledge to other languages.  Python and web languages being the most popular isn’t at all surprising.  I would like to see more C/C++ applicants, given the number of important projects that are written in them.  Strangely absent was any mention of Vala or Go, surely we have some community members who have some experience with those.

The technology section had the most unexpected results.  Gtk has the largest single slice, sure, but it’s still much, much smaller than I would have expected.  Qt/QML even more so, where are all you KDE folks?  The Django slice makes sense, given the number of Python and Web applicants.

So in total, we’ve had a pretty wide variety of skills and interests from Skunkworks applicants, but we can still use more, especially in areas that are under-represented compared to the wider Ubuntu community.  If you are interested, the application process is simple: just create a wiki page using the ParticipationTemplate, and email me the link (mhall119@ubuntu.com).

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13 Responses to A sneak peek inside Ubuntu Skunkworks

  1. > Qt/QML even more so, where are all you KDE folks?

    Sorry, we are busy contributing to KDE products. Please leave a message.

  2. hanja says:

    It is really sad to see “skunkworks” advertised like this. It is not cool to hide in the dark, really. :( :( :(

    Im crying fromy open source heart.

    • Michael Hall says:

      It’s not so much “hiding in the dark” as it is “waiting until we’re dressed before going outside”.

  3. Mark Johnson says:

    As the Skunkworks was announced in the lead up to 13.04, presumably some of the projects that were part of the initiative are now public knowledge. It would be great to see a follow-up detailing the projects and the involvement of the community memebers in them, is there something like that you’d be able to share?

    • Michael Hall says:

      The Skunkworks program kind of evolved into public projects, so if you’ve been paying any attention to what’s been going on in Ubuntu lately you won’t be at all surprised about what was done or who was working on it. But to give a few examples of projects that started under the Skunkworks:

      HTML 5 Theme
      Conditional Layouts in QML
      U1DB bindings for QML

      The Core Apps quickly took up the majority of the work, and those were done in the open from the start. While we have dropped the private development aspect, we kept the close working relationship between select community members and Canonical engineering teams, and we will continue to grow that in the coming cycle.

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