Our Polish friends. 

 Our questions are answered Michał Jarosz - the captain of team BOINC@Poland(Poland, November 2012)  (Русская версия)

 

 

Hi, Mchl

This is Andreev Alexander (AlexA) from the "Russia Team" team. Also, I am an administrator of the Russian site BOINC.RU. Russian participants in distributed computing would be interesting to know something about their Polish colleagues (competitors). Can you answer some of my questions?

Yes, I am pleased to answer your questions.

  

1. How popular is distributed computing in Poland?

It's not very popular. We estimate that no more than 6-7% of Internet users have ever participated in volunteer computing project of any sort.

 

2. You are a captain of one of the strongest Polish teams. How do you attract people to your team?

From the very beginning we've had three ways to attract people.

 First, have a team in each BOINC project. We were the first Polish team to be present in all BOINC projects (not counting teams called 'Poland', which were present everywhere, but did not have much in common across projects). This way our members have the feeling of belonging to one team no matter what projects they choose to participate in.

Second thing we did, was to provide high quality translations of information provided by BOINC projects. This later on resulted in our wiki, which is by far the most comprehensive source of BOINC related knowledge in Poland. Currently we provide not only translations, but also our very own articles. Some projects are using our translations in localized versions of their sites.

Last, but not least, is our forums. It started about a year after foundation of B@P, and has immediately become a focal point for our community, attracting a couple thousand people since then. We try to keep forums very open for any new users. On one hand we try to be polite and friendly, giving a lot of space for free discussion, on the other we make sure that personal attacks and offensive content are kept minimal. As a result, even though we do have some heated discussions from time to time, our moderators don't need to use their powers too often. As far as I can tell we have never banned a single person for misbehavior (spammers are another thing).

 

3. What are you trying to do to promote distributed computing in your own country?

 We've organized several promotional actions across these years. We've been putting up posters and distributing leaflets, writing letters to universities and research institutes, putting up YouTube videos and writing press articles. All sorts of stuff. We've managed to attract attention of nation-wide press and radio a couple of times too.

 

4. Is there a Polish users of the desire to create a unified Polish team?

  Yes, there has always been such a desire among Polish users. We have managed to do a couple of mergers in the past. Currently however it seems no such unified team will be created in foreseeable future.

 

5. What is your relationship with other Polish teams? For example, your main competitor - "Polish National Team"? You communicate? Arguing? Swearing?

We've always tried to be very respectful towards other teams. This has resulted in generally good atmosphere and occasional cooperation. Our relations with 'Polish National Team' are a bit more difficult. Some of core members of PNT are former B@P members who, for one reason or another, decided B@P is not the team they'd like to support. Along the way some unnecessarily bitter words were said by both sides, and there's still a fair level of animosity between some individual members of both teams. Despite all that we did talk about merging both teams, but eventually reached the consensus, that it's not really doable. It's like trying to merge an F1 team (PNT) with a technical university (B@P). Both deal with technology, and university even has it's own sports team, but the goals of both organizations, as well as ways to achieve them, are just too divergent for it to make any sense. Overall we try to keep our relationship civil and relieve any tensions as soon as possible, so that they do not escalate. It works most of the time

 

6.You are trying to manage the team? Or every user finds the projects that he wants?

For several years now I've been trying to encourage team members to take part in deciding what are the goals for our team. Whether it's choosing our 'Project of a month' or coming up with a new layout for a website, it's all up to team members to propose, discuss and reach consensus to act upon. I also try to delegate to other team members as much administrative duties as it is possible. Whether it's managing our team in projects, dealing with our website and hosting, or simply coming up with a new welcome message to new members. The more team members are involved, the more sense of teamwork they get, and as a result they become more responsible and more attached to the team.

 

7. Whether it is pleasant to you to share in challenges?

 We do encourage our members to participate in specific projects during challenges or when the projects deserves some extra attention for any reason, but it's not mandatory. There are people who like taking part in such actions, and there are those who don't. Overall it seems to be working pretty fine.

 

I had a good time answering these questions. If you'd need any clarification, or have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact me!

Kind Regards!

Mchl

 

 
 

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