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From drew jensen <drewjensen.in...@gmail.com>
Subject Re: After AOO 3.4, attracting new contributors
Date Sat, 31 Mar 2012 05:03:41 GMT
On Fri, 2012-03-30 at 23:21 -0400, Rob Weir wrote:
> On Thu, Mar 29, 2012 at 12:35 PM, drew jensen <drewjensen.inbox@gmail.com>wrote:
> 
> > On Thu, 2012-03-29 at 09:04 -0400, Rob Weir wrote:
> > > On Thu, Mar 29, 2012 at 8:31 AM, Kevin Grignon <
> > kevingrignon.oo@gmail.com>wrote:
> > >
> > > > Rob,
> > > >
> > > > Sounds like we can appeal to contributors intrinsic and extrinsic
> > > > motivation.
> > > >
> > > > Another newbie question: Does OO have any experience recruiting
> > > > non-technical volunteers. Many disciplines outside coding can have an
> > > > impact on the offering. Product management, UX, ID, training, visual
> > > > design, marketing, communications, etc. How might we position
> > ourselves as
> > > > open product development? A wider net would attract the diverse skills
> > that
> > > > could really make the effort a success long term.
> > > >
> > > >
> > > See this page here, which our central "how can I help page":
> > > http://incubator.apache.org/openofficeorg/get-involved.html
> > >
> > > So we need and value contributors in a wide range of disciplines, not
> > just
> > > technical ones.
> > >
> > Hola Rob, Kevin
> >
> > Just an aside, if you will. At this years FOSDEM there was a panel
> > discussion consisting of a number of the community managers. Included
> > IIRC was openSUSE, Fedora, Debian, Ubuntu (in this case the speaker was
> > specifically from the LoCo team project, not Ubuntu overall)...and a
> > couple others whose affiliation I can not recall.
> >
> > One topic, which would be germane here, was on recruiting contributors.
> >
> > Across the panel the participants felt that finding and retaining
> > _quality_ non-coding contributors has proven to be more difficult then
> > coders. Unfortunately that was the extent of the topic discussion, they
> > all agreed but not a single one went into Why they thought this was, or
> > what particular obstacles, procedural or cultural, might be involved, or
> > what actions if any they have implemented to address the situation.
> >
> >
> I think OpenOffice has had the opposite problem.  We have a long tradition
> of having quality non-coding contributors, especially in areas like
> translation, marketing, documentation, support, etc.  But we had an
> over-reliance on corporate-sponsored engineers from a single company for
> coding.  If I look at the project today, I see volunteers for non-coding
> items volunteering on the list on a near-daily basis.  But not so often for
> coding volunteers.

Hi Rob,

Yes, you and I it would seem concur on our observational assessment of
the current situation.

> 
> In any case, my point was not really about coders versus non-coders.  There
> is enough work to go around.  My concern was more that we're not doing a
> great job at getting new contributors involved in the project.  Look at our
> committers list.  We have nearly 100 now.  How many of them are actually
> new, e.g., were not involved with the legacy OpenOffice.org project.  Sure,
> there are a few, but not many.
> 
> Now look at the list archives for how many people of volunteered to help
> with the documentation, with the website, with UI, with testing, etc.  How
> many of them were able to break into actually contributing to the project.
> Almost none of them, right?

Yes, I'd agree. I also think it's fair to say, self forming volunteer
organizations fit the pattern in general - and therefore even more so
requires active attention always. 

> 
> So the issue, as I see it, is not an issue with attracting volunteers.  It
> isan issue of helping the volunteers get started and helping them meet
> their goals in project participation.

Sure, no argument here on any of that. I'd follow up from the first
paragraph, and add that IMO the new actors most needed right now are
those fitting the thin area - engineering. 

I think this means that; from those doing the engineering, particularly
those making decisions on the directions the code will be developed
going forward a need to be mindful to keep the required processes open
and transparent - pick your term here, and I hope all understand what I
mean here.. this is in no way an indictment but rather statemtnt of what
I see as a general principle 
- so that those whom would be interested in such work will know it is
here.

I think this is the first step in attracting engineering resources.

>From there then yes, the group needs to be proactive with organizing
hackfeasts, or activities of such like, the non-engineering contributors
can only at best help with this not drive it forward.

Anyhow - A long, rambling response, befitting a late Friday night, and
all surrounded of course by IMO ;)

//drew







> 
> -Rob
> 
> 
> 
> > Anyhow, just thought I'd pass it along. BTW I watched this on a live
> > video stream but the panel discussion may be available in an on-line
> > archive, I don't know one way of the other.
> >
> > //drew
> >
> > <snip>
> >
> >



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