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From Rob Weir <>
Subject Re: AOO volunteers: essential skills and tasks
Date Fri, 19 Oct 2012 18:04:00 GMT
On Fri, Oct 19, 2012 at 12:27 PM, jan iversen <> wrote:
> That is a BIG +++1 from me.
> Being a new contributors, I could have saved a lot of "stupid" questions,
> had I had a reading list.
> I have spent quite a number of hours (and that of others too) finding
> things, everybody knows.
> It would be good to have 1 wiki page with a suggested reading and items to
> do (get a wiki account etc.). That page can then later have specialized sub
> pages depending on the type of volunteer.

Right.  This is the idea.

> What really bothers me, is that I waste time for many others, who are very
> polite in helping me get over the first start....with many new volunteers
> (assuming I am on average) that is a lot of time, that could have been
> spent on more fruitful things.

Well, I must admit that your recent contributions, enthusiasm and
questions have prompted these thoughts.  Please don't be bothered that
you have questions.  This is getting us in the right direction and
pointing out where we need to improve.  This is good.  We all need to
keep a good attitude about this.  And I think so far we're doing this

> I agree however that the wording of the page should be choose well, words
> like "suggested reading" are far better for those who take things
> personally.

Good point.

> I will gladly review such a page :-)

Great.  Maybe we can start a thread on L10N list about what the
"essential skills" a new volunteer would need in that area?


> jan.
> On 19 October 2012 18:17, Rob Weir <> wrote:
>> I am thinking about what new project volunteers need to get started.
>> Obviously there are area-specific things.  For example, developers
>> need to know how to download and build.  Translation volunteers need
>> to understand Pootle, etc.  But there are also some basic things that
>> all volunteers should probably do.
>> Although we have all of this information (or at least most of it) on
>> the website or wikis or mailing list archives, it is scattered all
>> over the place.  I think it would be good if we could collect this
>> information (or at least links to this information) into one place and
>> put a linear order behind it, a step of specific steps we want new
>> volunteers to take.
>> Now, I can hear the objections already -- you can't tell volunteers
>> what to do.  That is why they are volunteers.  You can't regiment
>> them, etc.  This is true.  But at the scale we need to operate at --
>> I'm aiming to attract dozens of new volunteers on the project by the
>> end of the year -- we need some structure.  So what can we do to make
>> their first 2 weeks in the project easier for them, and easier for us?
>> One idea:  Think of the new volunteer startup tasks in terms of
>> "stages" or "levels", a defined set of reading and other activities
>> that leads them to acquire basic skills in our community.
>> For example:
>> Level 1 tasks:
>> 1) Read the following web pages on the ASF, roles at Apache and the Apache
>> Way
>> 2) Sign up for the following accounts that every volunteer should
>> have:  ooo-announce, ooo-dev, ooo-users,  MWiki, CWiki, BZ, Forums
>> 3) Read this helpful document on hints for managing your inbox with
>> rules and folders
>> 4) Read this code of conduct page on list etiquette
>> 5) Send a note to ooo-dev list and introduce yourself
>> 6) Edit this wiki page  containing project volunteers. Add your name
>> and indicate that you have completed Level 1.
>> Level 2 tasks:
>> 1) Using the Apache CMS in anonymous mode
>> 2) Readings on decision making at Apache
>> 3) Readings on project life cycle and roles within the AOO project
>> 4) Introduction to the various functional groups within the project:
>> development, qa, marketing, UX, documentation, support, localization,
>> etc.
>> 5) Pick one or more functional groups that you want to help with.
>> Edit the volunteer wiki and list them.  Also indicate that you have
>> now completed Level 2.
>> Get the idea?  After Level 2 this then could branch off into
>> area-specific lists of start up tasks:  how to download and build.
>> How to submit patches.  How to update a translation.  How to define a
>> new test case.
>> Is any one interested in helping with this?
>> -Rob

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