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From Rob Weir <>
Subject Re: After AOO 3.4, attracting new contributors
Date Sat, 31 Mar 2012 03:21:51 GMT
On Thu, Mar 29, 2012 at 12:35 PM, drew jensen <>wrote:

> On Thu, 2012-03-29 at 09:04 -0400, Rob Weir wrote:
> > On Thu, Mar 29, 2012 at 8:31 AM, Kevin Grignon <
> >
> > > 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":
> >
> >
> > 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.

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 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?

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.


> 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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