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Not Planned Volunteer developers?

Discussion in 'General Idea Discussion' started by KerbalBoy, Dec 12, 2019.

  1. We all know that Mineplex can sometimes be a bit buggy, and sometimes updates can be slow to come out. This thread was not made to insult or mock Mineplex, by the way. These things are very annoying at first - all Bedrock skins are white, people are turning invisible etc - but then you realise how many developers there are.


    I'm not sure about you, but having only 6 developers on one of Minecraft's biggest servers, which is split by platforms and continents, seems like a terrible idea. No wonder Mineplex has soo many bugs!

    This begs the questions - why are there only six developers? Can we get more? The first answer may be that the standards are too high, developers aren't trusted, or it's nearly impossible to find the jobs section, to apply for developer. Developer feels like a professional job, held only by the elite. No complaints there, if I'm being honest.

    But having this method makes the amount of developers very limited, which isn't what you want - you want a diverse pool of talents when developing a server. And I think I might be able to solve the problem.

    The Developer role will be unedited and untouched. They will remain as the Lead Developers. We could create a new role, Volunteer Developer, or something. I have no good ideas for names right now xD The VDs will not become Backend or Plugin developers, nothing so grand-sweeping, but instead will help develop one particular section. Two could solely work on GWEN, while one aims to reduce lag, while another three are on standby, ready to combat any bugs. You know, focused on particular sections. This is the general idea.

    The requirements for VD will be less than that of the current developers - the whole aim of this is to increase the number of developers. If you fear they may be immature, preforming the same level of Observation as in Trainee applications, before allowing them on the team. If you think they may be untrustworthy, then make them sign an NDA, or whatever you currently do to make sure your developers don't reveal code. If you aren't sure of their motives then conduct a voice interview, so you can check tone of voice, intention etc. If there are any other possible negatives, please let me know, and I'll explain why I think those negatives don't exist.

    But of course, I could be completely wrong. This may be a terrible idea, possibly due to reasons I have never thought of. So tell me what you think!

    I'm writing this just before bed, so some of this might not make sense xD I'll check this thread in about nine hours, so I'll respond to any and all comments then. Have a good night ^-^

    Oh one more thing I forgot to mention: they won't have a salary - they're volunteers, just like Moderators. There's no fear of Mineplex struggling to pay them.
    Posted Dec 12, 2019
  2. This is something I had previously suggested but it had got shut down too quick. I hope mineplex can be a bit more open minded about this and really take it into consideration as the situation is quite rough currently with game updates, Gwen, bug fixes, and balance patches
    Posted Dec 12, 2019
    mab8400 likes this.
  3. That would be too much of a risk for MP and just more trouble. Respectable and talented enough developer that work free a very very rare so finding them will be hard. Then it would add extra work to whoever has to review the code that this volunteer committed instead of creating content. So yea, personally I think this isn't worth the time for MP and could actually end up being worse for them.

    The only way that could work is if Mineplex was an open-sourced project.
    Posted Dec 12, 2019
  4. Explain, please, why exactly would it be a risk? Also if all the devs have to do is check over the the code, it wpuld be faster because otherwise they would have to write it themselves. Also if trust would be a real issue then the person wouldnt be accepted.
    Posted Dec 12, 2019
  5. I believe the main problem with this suggestion is that skilled and confident people who do their job well won't work for free. Especially if this "volunteer dev" is working for free when other doing the same type of work are getting paid, it's not fair, and it's not desirable. From a business point of view, if you have a volunteer, there's not really any way to ensure they continue doing their job well and accurately. They have nothing to work for besides satisfaction, but that will likely not last long. If you have an employee under contract and working for money, they will remain motivated to complete their job, and to complete it well.

    I have zero experience with coding, but given the intricacies of the language, it does seem that proofreading someone else's work would be just as time consuming as writing it. Proofreading would be an essential step because again, there's not really any motivation to make sure your work is quality if it is an unpaid position.

    Lastly, while there may be some people out there that have the right intentions and genuine interest, this won't be sustainable unless they are being paid. The gratification of creating something for the server would be awesome in the beginning, but later on, the volunteer dev would likely realize that they are putting in a lot of hours with little to no compensation. They might also realize that there are other opportunities elsewhere where they could be offering the same skills and being paid. So the longevity of people in this position would likely be quite short.
    Posted Dec 12, 2019
    Goudge ✦, Offline, Dallarth and 2 others like this.
  6. A very, very long time ago there was a Jr. Dev program where volunteer developers could do volunteer development. In the end, the program was shut down due to a variety of complications. I am not completely familiar with the exact reasons, but if I remember correctly Mineplex had part of it's game code get leaked (which allowed other servers to run Mineplex exclusive games) and the Jr. Developers were not meeting the standard and expectations required for the level of quality necessary. (I may be very wrong on this, but I am pretty sure I am remembering this correctly.)

    Either way, this was a program a long time back and the outcomes from that program were not positive enough to keep it around.

    The developer position is a real, full-time paying job. It has high standards because someone not only needs to know how to program, but they also need experience working with Minecraft specific content.

    Also, the jobs section page is very conveniently placed at the bottom of the page. That is a pretty standard practice for anyone seriously looking for a job. Also, googling "Mineplex Jobs" has it at the top result, so there isn't any excuse there.
    Posted Dec 12, 2019
    Goudge ✦ likes this.
  7. Then why are there only 6 developers across the server? I'm not disagreeing with you on this, I'm just confused xD

    That seems... odd. The same methods they use for making sure the current developers don't leak code should be the same methods they used to make sure the 'Jr Developers' don't leak code.

    There's an argument to make here that this applies to you as well. You put in a lot of hours, but if you only measures gratification with money, then why are you still here? You'll always be able to find someone in need of management and moderation skills, and they'll be willing to pay.

    Of course money isn't the only thing that gives gratification, and I think that whatever keeps you motivated with Mineplex can also be the reason that the Developers stay motivated with Mineplex.

    Do they currently have a proofreading scheme right now? I doubt it. And why do you think they don't have a proofreading scheme? I'm taking a guess and saying they trust each other.

    People who aren't being paid are not automatically evil, who want to to leak your code, and submit malicious code into your servers. Trust isn't dependent on whether they're being paid for developing a Minecraft server.
    OP OP
    OP OP Posted Dec 13, 2019,
    Last edited Dec 13, 2019
    °3° likes this.

  8. They probably have 6 developers (for the amount of players that MP gets isn’t that bad) because they can’t afford having more or experienced enough developers are just not interested by working for Mineplex.

    They do have proofreading, i remember Alex mentioning that he had to look through ToonBasic’s code (previous GWEN developer) and saying it was too poor quality to be pushed onto the server.
    Posted Dec 13, 2019
  9. At least the idea solves one of those issues, I guess. I don't know how to solve the second problem ._.

    That's unexpected but understandable. But obviously it doesn't take as long to proofread as it does to make the code, especially if it's commented properly. This is because if proofreading took longer than coding, then Mineplex wouldn't have bothered having any developers at all. They do have developers, so we know it doesn't take too long to proofread.

    OP OP
    OP OP Posted Dec 13, 2019
  10. Proofreading someone else's code can be harder than doing it yourself at times. Everyone does things differently and a good chunk of the time, arriving at a product with coding is not a straight line that you can just follow.

    In my opinion, Mineplex just needs to find a way to get more players on its network and therefore increase their revenue which would allow for more paid positions aka developers and administrators.
    Posted Dec 13, 2019
    Dulciloquy and Goudge ✦ like this.
  11. At times, I suppose there could be a chance that proofreading takes longer than the coding itself. But the coding involves a lot of trial and error, whereas proofreading just requires reading the comments. No trial and error there.

    I don't think the proofreading is an issue at all really - if proofreading took longer than coding, then Mineplex wouldn't hire developers. But they do hire developers, so proofreading doesn't take longer than coding as a whole.
    OP OP
    OP OP Posted Dec 13, 2019
  12. No. This thread just needs to be locked.
    Posted Dec 13, 2019
  13. Why?
    OP OP
    OP OP Posted Dec 13, 2019
  14. Why would it need to be locked? Its not a bad idea and it hasn't been shot down yet and there isnt anything offensive.
    Posted Dec 13, 2019
    KerbalBoy likes this.
  15. In defense of @Offline, he seems to be joking about the thread being locked.
    Posted Dec 13, 2019
  16. While I understand your frustration with certain bugs on the network, this idea would simply not work well. I'll do my best to outline my thoughts to each of your points, and offer some insight into why having volunteer developers would not work.

    First of all, I'm not entirely sure what you mean when you say Mineplex is split by continents. While we do have players from all over the world, I don't see how this relates to developers at all. While they may be in different timezones, that does not affect their ability to do their job in the slightest.

    As @MCCharity mentioned before, Mineplex Developer positions are very real, professional jobs. Just like other development and programming jobs that someone may apply for, high standards and requirements are crucial for the hiring process, as they help ensure that applicants have the necessary skills, experience, and professionalism to do the job well.

    If you look at the current requirements for the "Plugin Developer" position at jobs.mineplex.com, they are actually very reasonable. Applicants need to be highly proficient in Java, as that is the primary language that they would be working in. For such a position that depends so much on proficiency in a certain programming language, two years of experience in that language sounds reasonable to me. The other requirements and desired skills listed are just basic experience prerequisites in other areas that applicants would need to be familiar with in order to do their job effectively.

    As for your claim that current developers are not trusted, I simply know this not to be the case. Just like at other companies, developers are hired employees that are trusted with the task of following instructions, and completing their work to high standards. If there was any indication that a developer could not be trusted, then they would not still be a developer.

    To your point that it is "nearly impossible to find the jobs section," I disagree. As mentioned above, the link is found at the bottom of every page on the website, which is a very standard location for job pages on most company websites. Additionally, it can also be found under the "Apply for Staff" section of the Support Hub, and is the first search result for "Mineplex jobs". I really don't see how not being able to find the jobs section would be an inhibiting factor for any serious applicants.

    How is this different from the current developer positions? If some of them work exclusively on GWEN, they would essentially be fulfilling the role of the Anti-Cheat Developer position.

    If I'm not mistaken, the same methods were/are used. However, you have to account for more factors than that. The reason the current developers are still devs is because they are good at their job, and they are also trustworthy.

    I'm confused as to why you are assuming that there is currently no quality control as far as proofreading goes. It is very standard at most companies for production to proofread and approve code before deployment. As far as I know, this happens at Mineplex as well. This is not due to a lack of trust, but rather provides an extra step towards ensuring that each update works well before it is released.

    With the introduction of volunteer developers also comes the issue of qualification. If someone is less experience in Java or other required skills, why should they be allowed to work on crucial projects such as GWEN that are dependant on developer knowledge and skill to function properly? I'm not saying that someone who is interested in becoming a volunteer developer is necessarily under-qualified, but if they have the proper qualifications why would they not simply apply for one of the paid development positions? I find it very unlikely that someone with strong employable skills would be willing to work without pay, when there are many opportunities for them to be doing similar kinds of work for pay elsewhere.

    Furthermore, there is an issue of trust and risk. There have been security issues in the past that resulted in leaks, and this is something that absolutely cannot be allowed to happen. While I don't want to insinuate that all volunteers are less trustworthy, there is something to be said about having better security and trust in paid employees.

    As others have mentioned, this suggestion is quite similar to the Jr. Dev program that we had in the past. However, due to some of the reason I discussed as well as some other factors, this program did not end up working well and was discontinued.
    Posted Dec 13, 2019
    Dulciloquy, SpamL and °3° like this.
  17. I don't feel frustrated? I'm not sure why you thought that.

    It was a throwaway line, don't think too much about it. I only said it to emphasise how large Mineplex is.

    I'm not suggesting that we let developers who have no knowledge of Java become developers. The idea is to have these Jr Developers (or whatever you want to call them) only program one section. This is so the requirements are much lower than the current requirements - you don't need a 'Deep understanding of Concurrent Programming' to program one section. Only controlling one section reduces the requirements, because a Developer can just give you a piece of code, say, the BH code, and you can fix all the bug, and add new features. You don't have to be able to connect the BH code with any other games, lobbies or hubs. You don't need to know how the BH code is linked with anything else. You treat it as a standalone project, not part of a larger server. This way, the code is simple enough to be done well by a very inexperienced coder, all they essentially need to know is the Minecraft API.

    Where did I claim the current developers could not be trusted? I said that if there are any concerns about a Jr Developer's level of trustworthiness, then you can run background checks. I give suggestions, not create conspiracy theories about how the Mineplex development team is disjointed and inept.

    I never made a point that that is one of the reasons there are soo few developers. I was wondering why there were only six developers and that was one of my guesses. I don't actually believe it, I just heard a few people say that.

    ahOkay, I was wrong about there being proofreading. But there being proofreading with this suggestion isn't a bad thing, because currently proofreading has no issues. See my other comments for more explanation.

    Why were there leaks? I just can't see why the volunteers are less trustworthy - if anything, it shows they'e more trustworthy - they don't demand being paid in order to help the server. And you're a volunteer - are people saying you're untrustworthy because you aren't paid?

    I've never heard of this program before today xD Are there any posts about it I can read, so I know what y'all are talking about? Thanks ^-^
    OP OP
    OP OP Posted Dec 13, 2019
    °3° likes this.
  18. It hurts.
    Posted Dec 13, 2019
    Gzen (away) likes this.
  19. OP OP
    OP OP Posted Dec 13, 2019
  20. Hey there,

    Thanks for the idea of allowing volunteers to help code for Mineplex. However, at this time, it is just something that is not planned. Let's go through your post, as there is quite a but to be dissected from it.

    I am sorry that you feel this way. It is never our intent for players to feel like this, but there are some more factors that go into place than what just meets the eye. For example, all Bedrock skins being white is not a bug; it is an intended feature to prevent players from crashing after Microsoft changed the way skins work. When this is fixed on our side, you can expect to see all of your beautiful skins once again.

    Limited developers certainly does not mean that there is not a diverse pool of talents going into the server. Just because six developers is less than seven or eight, there is no guarantee that having more would make sure that there are different skill-sets working on the same project.

    You are correct in saying that the developers are split up by platforms: One of them works on the website, some work on Java, and some work on Bedrock. However, I am confused as to what you mean split-up by continents. Yes, the developers can work from all over the world, but that is not an issue. In the day of the internet, they can just hop in a Discord call if needed and work on some stuff like that; there really is no need to be sitting in the same room at all.

    It is not that we do not want developers, it is that we cannot lower our standards just because we need another. Just having six different developers does not mean we do not have a diverse pool of talents, since just hiring more developers does not guarantee having a larger pool of skills to work with.

    We already have two lead developers. @OneThousand and @AlexTheCoder lead Bedrock and Java development, respectively. While I am not an expert with development, I can say that the second part of this quote does not really make sense. If the VDs are not working on backend development or plugins, how are they going to be able to squash bugs with plug-ins and work on GWEN? The two are somewhat contradictory.

    Having these VDs be under less strict requirements would, in my opinion, not be beneficial to the server. You mentioned that Mineplex already has several bugs that you think these people would help fix, but if we are putting them under less strict requirements, who is to say that they are going to know how to fix it? If they cannot, then there really was not point of having them, as the job would go back to the regular developers to try and fix. Additionally, there is no dedicated team to making sure that developers are acting professionally, as it is a regular job. VDs would need to act mature, but making observations on them be a requirement would add in a lot of work for Staff Management when that is not even their main job since they are not part of the moderation team. Without a doubt these members would need to be under an NDA, but that still does not get rid of the issue that was presented earlier.

    I really do not think that it is about the money, as we still do have jobs being offered on the jobs page.

    In the end, we have had a similar position called Junior Devs (like many above me have said) on the network. These individuals were paid, but were often treated much worse than others who did similar work. The code that they did write needed to be checked over by a supervisor, so the entire process was inefficient. This idea is basically copying that and removing the money that they make, so I personally do not see that many people even applying for this position. I'll be marking this as "Not Planned," but please let me know if you have any further questions or concerns.
    Posted Dec 14, 2019
    BreadIV likes this.

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