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From Ian Lynch <ianrly...@gmail.com>
Subject Re: After AOO 3.4, attracting new contributors
Date Wed, 28 Mar 2012 07:47:30 GMT
On 28 March 2012 02:38, Kevin Grignon <kevingrignon.oo@gmail.com> wrote:

> Many great thoughts here.
>
> In addition to supporting the open source movement, perhaps we could
> market participation as a way to learn and develop skills.
>

Maybe a certificate for AOO development professional? Work out the key
skills needed to contribute to development and write a set of indicative
assessment criteria. Get a mentor to verify the candidate's evidence that
they can meet the criteria. If there was interest in it we have the
 facilities to support it including secure on-line testing facilities and a
Drupal system for managing coursework evidence which we would do as a free
contribution to the project. We'd just need help defining the criteria from
the most experienced developers.


> As a newbie, it appears that much our message is around what we need -
> which is essential to understand, however we may want to focus on why
> someone may want to join and help them realize their goals.
>
> For example, if someone is looking to demonstrate their skills and develop
> portfolio work products, then AOO offers a sandbox of opportunity.
>

And a potential certification of skills.

>
> Some thoughts.
>
> Regards,
> Kevin
>
>
> On Mar 27, 2012, at 10:47 PM, Rob Weir <robweir@apache.org> wrote:
>
> > On Mon, Mar 26, 2012 at 9:39 PM, Louis Suárez-Potts <luispo@gmail.com
> >wrote:
> >
> >> Hi,
> >> On 2012-03-19, at 08:41 , Rob Weir wrote:
> >>
> >>> Any ideas and the best ways how we can improve in this area after AOO
> >>> 3.4 releases?
> >>
> >> Lots, and these would complement the rather good ideas already proposed.
> >> What we did at OOo actually worked--to attract developers and
> contributors
> >> of all sorts. What worked against us I do not think I need spell out,
> but
> >> the cussedness of the code was not really the determining factor.
> >>
> >> What really would help, besides giving would-bes a clean entry, is to
> have
> >> mentors, more or less do-able tasks that are identified as such. (We
> tried
> >> getting to this many times, and I strongly urged my erstwhile
> colleagues in
> >> this area for, uhm, years. Finally happened, and we got our to-dos but
> >> still not clearly identified according to level of difficulty. I can
> >> conceive of several  here whose work would assist in the identification
> of
> >> tasks newbies could approach--and even post-newbies-and perhaps even in
> >> mentoring.)
> >>
> >> Also, what helps tremendously is what we are doing already: presenting a
> >> community that is open, friendly, and generally has a good attitude
> about
> >> what it is doing and where it is going. There are millions using OOo as
> >> their primary ODF implementation, and those mostly include those who
> have
> >> come to it via the national or sub-national government agency. I think
> it's
> >> about time that they are looking to AOO for the next step.
> >>
> >>
> > I think the idea of a new contributor mentor is essential.   This is true
> > for coders, but also website, translation, documentation, test, UI, etc.
> > What we have today is very much a "swim or sink" and "drink from the fire
> > hose" approach.  If someone is highly motivated, highly skilled and
> > persistent, and is able to withstand the apparent chaos of the ooo-dev
> > list, and penetrates the noise and asks questions, and repeats their
> > questions until answered, then they might have a 50/50 chance of
> > contributing.
> >
> > But let's be honest with ourselves -- there are a range of projects
> someone
> > can contribute to.  For would-be volunteers it is a buyer's market.  If
> we
> > make it too hard to get involved and contribute, technically,
> procedurally,
> > socially, then we lose.
> >
> > But getting new volunteers on board requires effort.  If someone is
> > spending 100% of their time on their own features, then they have no time
> > to help new volunteers become productive.
> >
> > One approach might be to define "essential skills" or "essential
> knowledge"
> > that a new volunteer needs to master in order to become productive, and
> > then a list of project members who are willing to help mentor new
> > volunteers to acquire those skills.
> >
> > For example, for the website, the essential skills might be:
> >
> > 1) Assume HTML/CSS, we're not here to teach that
> > 2) Help them get started with Markdown Text
> > 3) Help them use the CMS to generate patches
> > 4) Help them build website locally via the scripts
> > 5) Understanding the larger site design, including recurring page
> elements,
> > footers, etc.
> > 6) In parallel with above, understanding Apache, roles, decision making,
> > lazy consensus, CTR versus RTC, what Infra does versus what the project
> is
> > responsible for, etc.
> > 7) Help them establish a record of contributions to become a committer
> >
> > Anyone who has done the above can do 95% of what is needed to become a
> > master of our website.
> >
> > It would be wonderful if we had something like that, a check list even a
> > curriculum, for other common functions, as well as volunteers able to
> take
> > on new project volunteers willing to help.
> >
> > This is all an investment in the future success of the project.  We grow
> by
> > attracting new volunteers.  But the investment is time spent on
> mentoring.
> > This would all be over-kill for the average Apache PMC of 8-12 people.
>  But
> > with 10 million lines of code, a PMC nearing 100 members, and the largest
> > project at Apache, we need an approach to training new volunteers that
> > works to scale.  I think something like the above helps get us closer.
> >
> > -Rob
> >
> >
> > And I can think of at least two, and probably more, national bodies so
> >> interested.
> >>
> >> Do these give us developers straight away? I don't know. The problem
> with
> >> OOo was, as [not] said ultimately political, not codical (comical?).
> >> Engaging these longtime users, as well as new ones, with the
> possibilities
> >> represented by this community, which is open and unencumbered--ought to
> be
> >> easier.
> >>
> >> My own approach is to focus on ODF and on the benefits offered not only
> by
> >> the AOO implementation but by its community.
> >>
> >> -louis
>



-- 
Ian

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