AsiaBSDCon 2009 Plenary Talk.
Theo de Raadt is the project leader of the OpenBSD project, and the founder of OpenSSH. He started writing free unix tools in 1988. In 1995 he convinced a bunch of strange foreigners to work with him on a security-focused unix operating system. He lives in Calgary, and has no time for a job since the OpenBSD developers consume too much of his time. He only accepts invitations to speak at conferences if excellent hiking is nearby.
Twelve years ago OpenBSD developers started engineering a release process that has resulted in quality software being delivered on a consistent 6 month schedule – 25 times in a row, exactly on the date promised, and with no critical bugs. This on-time delivery process is very different from how corporations manage their product releases and much more in tune with how volunteer driven communities are supposed to function. Developer and testing laziness is mostly circumvented and leader frustration is kept to a minimum. The reasons, mechanics and social workings of our process have never been detailed outside the project, but now will be, hopefully providing some insight to others who face delays and quality issues with their own product lines.