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From Ross Gardler <>
Subject Easy tasks and mentoring
Date Thu, 07 Jul 2011 15:30:37 GMT
Over in another thread there has been some discussion of "easy tasks"
being identified to help newcomers find their way in the OOo project.

In the ASF the Community Development project works to make ASF
projects a little more accessible. Typically it's very scary for a
newcomer, regardless of their background. The ASF is a big place where
everyone seems to know one another.

Here at OOo we have a very big project with a deep and rich history.
the problem of attracting and engaging newcomers is probably even more
pronounced here.

One of the things we do is encourage projects to tag "easy tasks" in
their issue tracker.We also encourage projects to offer to mentor
people who want to tackle one of these tasks. Now an ASF project
community is should be mentoring newcomers anyway, so explicitly
stating a mentor is available for some tasks may seem strange. but we
have found that just having the words "mentor" associated with a
project task makes it more approachable.

Another benefit of doing this is that when it comes around to Google
Summer of Code time the project already has a bunch of tasks
identified that would be suitable for GSoC applications. The ASF has
been involved with GSoC since it first started., We usually get
between 35 and 50 projects, and most of them are successful. We've
even got a few ASF members who started life as GSoC students, became
committers and are now working across multiple projects.

So, i would encourage people to mark "easy tasks" that they would be
willing to help guide people on with a label of "mentor" (which means
ensuring questions from someone tacking the problem are answered, it
does not mean putting in so much effort you can have done the job
yourself in less time).

Finally, I'll repeat Rob's observations elsewhere. Easy tasks should
not be meaningless tasks. They should be real tasks that will add real
value to the project. Ask yourself, if it's easy and your not going to
do it yourself is it really necessary? There are plenty of tasks that
would be nice to have but not essential, these are good candidates for
mentored tasks.

Finally, I'd like to hear from the OOo education project. Are there
any existing programmes in the Oo.o community that we should work


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