Then, the narrator mentioned how the groups moved wherever food was available, and I had an amazing thought - what if we had roving bands of programmers?
Imagine this: a team of highly-skilled programmers fend off boredom by changing targets every week or so. Their tight communication and above-average skill, combined with broad experience and a fresh look at things, could resolve some of those long-standing tickets every project has. Most open-source projects tend to have only one main developer, so the arrival of these roguish hackers could be a real energy shot.
Then, without a warning, they disappear into the night, as quickly as they came...

Band of Programmers

Some time ago, I blerged out a thought about small groups of skilled programmers joining together to briefly submit a flurry of work to a small open-source project before moving on. Band of Programmers, or BoP, is the result of a bit of thinking, a bit of discussion, and an unfortunate tendency to start new things when old ones must still be done.

The idea is simple - each group meets for an hour or so each week. They eat food, discuss nerdy things, and eventually get around to deciding on a project for the week.

As they have time, the members look through the project's issue tracker, mailing lists, wiki, source, whatever. If they find something that looks both interesting and feasible for their skills and time constraints, they email the rest of the group. Maybe a few people will work together on one thing. Maybe someone just doesn't find anything worth doing, or has crazy-hard midterms to study for. It doesn't matter. What does matter is that everyone generally does a little bit of something, and has a good time doing it.

I'm thinking of starting a BoP with a focus on scripting languages - if a project involves Python, Ruby, Perl, PHP, Javascript, Lua - we'll consider it. Only know one or two of those? Join and you'll learn more. Not your speciality? Let me know what is, and I'll put you together with other people of like interest, whether it be systems-programming, graphics, functional mindbending, or a desire to only program in Whitespace and brainfuck.

Head over yonder for my contact details. DO IT.