We're looking to reduce the learning gradient that new folks need to hike up when they look to contribute to Fedora. Users looking to give back to the community is amazing. We need to go out and give them as much help as we can. The importance here is that most of them will be new to the work flows, SIGS, teams and processes that Fedora community uses. Quite a few of them will be new to Linux even. For these novices, learning all that is required to become contributors is a daunting task. However, what is important is that all of them have the *potential* to make awesome contributors!
At the moment, this is how folks go about it:
- Look at the join-fedora page
- Select what they want to do
- Join the various mailing lists
- Ask how they can help
- Start working, and learn while they work
Even though this works, there are a few issues here that we'd like to address:
- Quite a few folks aren't sure what they want to do. The join fedora page is confusing for them at times. They don't know first hand what each role is about, so they aren't sure if they should join up SIG A or SIG B.
- The various mailing lists: devel, mktg, infra are work oriented. While we do guide newcomers that ask for help on the lists, these newcomers are usually scared to ask questions. They feel they'll make fools of themselves if they ask simple questions in front of established contributors.
Basically, the working mailing lists aren't exactly the best environment for new comers. They are task oriented. They aren't dedicated to aiding new comers. We also don't want lots of introductions etc. on the work mailing lists either. We want them to be dedicated to *work*.
fedora-join on Freenode
- Set up a communication channel between the existing contributors and prospective contributors. Speaking to current team members is always encouraging. We could even set up a system to send "easyfix" tasks to this mailing list giving folks a chance to work on them and learn in the process.
- Guide/aid prospective contributors to turn into solid contributors. Rather than just pointing them to join.fp.o, talk to them, see what issues they face, help them decide where they want to get started.
- Via these channels, form better mentor-mentee relationships. Here, I mean "mentor" in the real sense of the word.
- Give prospective contributors a communication channel to converse amongst themselves. This is very important. Take the Google Summer of Code mailing list for instance. It is set up specifically so that the candidates can talk to each other. Since they're all in the same boat, they feel more comfortable discussing certain issues amongst themselves. They'll also be aware of what different people are up to which will give them a better idea of what they can do. It would be great if they could discuss and share the cool stuff they've begun to do. It would surely be encouraging.
Basically, look for potential, not polish. We can help them gain the polish that established contributors have.
TO DO List
- File ticket at infra to set up fedora-join mailing list. (Is it possible to set up one where they won't need to register)
- Set up IRC channel #fedora-join
- File ticket with websites SIG to make tiny changes to join.fp.o to list Fedora-Join IRC and mailing list channels.
- Ask infra if we can set up a system to send "easyfix" notifications to the channel/mailing list.
- Get started!
Not yet. We need to decide if we really need a regular meeting.