Any advice on finding Android developers for open source project?

Focus Launcher (formerly Siempo) is a humane Android home screen.

We’re in desperate need of Android developers to help us get the project going after the project was open-sourced. I’ve reached out to sub-reddits (r/opensource, r/androiddev) and some newsletters, but we’re still struggling to find people to help.

There’s a handful of us working on marketing & strategy, but if we don’t find any developers, our project slowly die.

Any advice?

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Hi there @tyhitzeman welcome to our community. It is very nice to see you want to continue the work of @andrewmurraydunn

First of all I’d like to point to the post by @Camielvanderbeek who did a great research on the mindfulness experience in particular for a new launcher design: Human Phones - A mindful redesign of the smartphone experience

In terms of ‘marketing’, given the urgent need to find devs, I’d make that your top-prio campaign. There’s a bunch of things I’d focus on.

  • You are great FOSS software. Now you need to build a FOSS community around it. Your current website does not express that. It looks like a team is working behind the scenes to prepare a launch.

  • I’d turn the website from a “await our announcement” to a great project + product site that breathes “we are launching a FOSS community to do great stuff with your phone and we need you to help”. Add a blog to the site instead of using Medium and describe your plans, and some roadmap ideas.

  • Attract more attention to your GPL-licensing. The only mention is at the bottom of the README. Add a LICENSE file, so Github knows your license. Display it on the website too. Note that with your licensing your are more than ‘just’ an open-source project: You are a free software project!

  • I have my doubts with some of the project tooling you already use, in terms of attractiveness to FOSS contributors. Both Discord and Medium are not well-loved in FOSS circles. Medium is easy to get rid of, and - if you prefer to keep Discord - you might bridge discord to Matrix.

  • Part of your FOSS Community campaign might be to place announcements on many, many FOSS-related places. Present your current team and explicitly ask for technical team members. You may broaden your search and ask for Java/Kotlin devs. Many android codebases are transitioning to Kotlin, and it is ‘sexy’ to work on that.

  • You might add a Fediverse channel, besides Twitter. There are many FOSS devs on the fedi. The instance https://fosstodon.org may be a good one. Also consider adding a RSS stream to your site… something FOSS devs love.

There’s more advice I could give, but these are things that popped first into my head :slight_smile:

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Wow, thanks so much for the detailed tips! I wasn’t aware of a lot of them and have just updated my to-do list with your suggestions. :pray:

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Hey Ty,

Looking forward to seeing Focus Launcher… um, launch :slightly_smiling_face:

It could be helpful to have a roadmap so potential developers have an idea what they would be working on. I used and still use Siempo, having installed it before it was removed from Google Play. At least on my phone, it works.

So what is it, in the short term that needs to happen before it can be re-launched as Focus Launcher? Are there also longer term aspirations and what are they?

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Hey Justin! Excellent idea. I just documented our short-term roadmap in this wiki page

We’ll be making the long-term aspirations more clear as we re-do our website shortly

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