I'm a Free Software developer.
How many people are Free Software developers here?
How many of you develop Free Software for your own use?
How many people develop Free Software for other people's use?
Keep your hand up if you regularly pay attention to what your users want.
The hard part of programming for others is assuming what they want how they want
to use software.
It's not just about checking either, making a list of what users say they want
and putting it in your todo list.
Regular users often have more rigorous demands for ease of use, speed and
design for a project. When you want to write software for them, you have to
be able to know when they're unhappy.
And there has to be motivation to pay attention. Constant, patient attention to
users who you /feel/ you have responsibility for.
I'm a proponent of involving users in the development process by getting them
to contribute to funding campaigns and other forms of investment and barter.
Because this not only gets resources into a project, but also makes developers
pay attention to users.
But you can also become socially involved too. Making sure developers are friends
with users where the value of the relationship can provide that bond between
the user and developer.
We're all far more likely to be better at serving users when they're exchanging
or socially involved with us.
If any of you are developers or you know developers who you can pass this on to:
let's make Free Software worth using, by paying attention to those people who
will use it.
Thanks for listening to my talk, happy hacking.