Friday, July 10
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Perlukah demokrasi dalam software development?

Setelah memberikan beberapa webinar tentang proses pengembangan dan pembangunan beberapa teknologi IT: Linux, ubuntu, FreeBSD, ada rekan2 yang bertanya, “pengembangan software itu seperti apa? apa perlu ada demokrasi?”

jawab saya, “tergantung tempatnya. software development ada yang tidak demokratis, system yang dipakai disana mirip seperti organisasi militer yang terstruktur, rapi, tanggap, efisien, dan efektif.

saya mendefinisikan demokrasi sebagai sebuah proses pengambilan keputusan/kekuasaan berdasarkan suara mayoritas. dan keputusan tersebut juga ada unsur politis dikarenakan melibatkan element yang mendukung mendapatkan suara terbanyak. misal: pemilihan menteri, pemilihan presiden.

saya teringat hadits nabi, “serahkan sesuatu urusan pada ahlinya“. artinya memang tidak ada demokrasi disini. yang mempunyai keahlian dalam suatu urusan, sudah selayaknya mendapat otoritas/jabatan.

Software development adalah sebuah proses teknis, bukan politis. sehingga diperlukan orang yang mengerti teknis tentang hal tersebut. jadi memang tidak perlu voting untuk itu.

pengembangan ubuntu adalah salah satu contoh yang menganut paham sentralistik. sejauh ini, performansi ubuntu sangat baik, dan produk2 mereka juga direspon dengan tanggapan yang baik pula. ini membuktikan bahwa demokrasi tidak harus ada.

berikut ini petikan dari CEO canonical (mark shuttleworth)

On 15/03/10 23:42, Pablo QuirĂ³s wrote:
> It’d have been nice if this comment had been made some time ago,
> together with a deep reasoning on the concrete changes that are in mind.
>
> We are supposed to be a community, we all use Ubuntu and contribute to
> it, and we deserve some respect regarding these kind of decisions. We
> all make Ubuntu together, or is it a big lie?

We all make Ubuntu, but we do not all make all of it. In other words, we
delegate well. We have a kernel team, and they make kernel decisions.
You don’t get to make kernel decisions unless you’re in that kernel
team. You can file bugs and comment, and engage, but you don’t get to
second-guess their decisions. We have a security team. They get to make
decisions about security. You don’t get to see a lot of what they see
unless you’re on that team. We have processes to help make sure we’re
doing a good job of delegation, but being an open community is not the
same as saying everybody has a say in everything.

This is a difference between Ubuntu and several other community
distributions. It may feel less democratic, but it’s more meritocratic,
and most importantly it means (a) we should have the best people making
any given decision, and (b) it’s worth investing your time to become the
best person to make certain decisions, because you should have that
competence recognised and rewarded with the freedom to make hard
decisions and not get second-guessed all the time.

It’s fair comment that this was a big change, and landed without
warning. There aren’t any good reasons for that, but it’s also true that
no amount of warning would produce consensus about a decision like this.

> If you want to tell us
> that we are all part of it, we want information, and we want our opinion
> to be decisive.
>

No. This is not a democracy. Good feedback, good data, are welcome. But
we are not voting on design decisions.

Mark

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