I've had the great opportunity to share my experience navigating the waters of Drupal core development at at DrupalCon Denver last month. My talk "Thrown Into a Shark Pond? A Guide for Surviving Core Development and Even Enjoying It" was possibly a little sensationally titled, although every Drupal core developers have their ups and downs and sometimes people do feel like they are in a shark attack. I planned to provide good ways forward from different ways that ideas can be blocked from inception through implementation to getting it into core.
When preparing for the session, I realized I'm going to explain a somewhat complicated tree with different decision points and states. I wanted my session to be a useful and clear explanation and let people focus on tips and tricks instead of piecing together this tree in their head, so I decided to design a handout for the attendees (PDF, 250k). This turned out to be pretty great I think, and I got lots of content feedback from xjm, webchick, Moshe Weitzman, Kieran Lal and even Dries at various stages of drafting it. (Getting it printed on-site was a herculean undertaking, but that is really due to the printing shop services available.) At the end, each attendee got a nice color copy of this that they could bring home (and the leftovers I had were distributed at the new contributors sprint at the end of the conference). After all I decided to not theme the talk or the handouts with sharks, in hopes that the handouts would be much more easily reusable later just as well.
You can also watch the recording of the session below, and download the slides (PDF, 7.8M).