Sunday, January 11, 2015

Drawing in new contributors and growing the community

It's a really exciting time to be active in both KDE and Kubuntu. So many new initiatives, projects, new collaborations. And yet.

Comment often heard over the past couple of years: we've lost $person / we're missing people to maintain/lead/do $project. This is understandable, and to be expected in a large, mature organization such as KDE; a dynamic project loses people as well as gains new contributors.

In contrast, almost daily in #kde and #kde-devel IRC channels we have new people trying to find some way to get involved with KDE. In an effort
to bring the solution and the problem together, at Akademy we
brainstormed and came up with the Mission forum.

What that forum needs is postings! When a developer is thinking
about giving up maintainership, please write a Maintainer Wanted
post. When you are fixing bugs, and see a valuable bit of code which needs
porting, please write that up and put it on the forum.

Naturally we always need ideas for possible Google Summer of Code projects, and the forum is a good place to post and develop those ideas. Eventually they will be moved to our GSoC docs, but they can be discussed and refined on the forum.

New skills needed, documentation, internationalization, translation, artwork, promo, and web work tasks are also suitable. If you have written a "help wanted" blog or mail list email in the past, dig it out and post it on the forum. Be sure to clearly outline for people how to undertake your tasks.

In fact, once Google Code-in is over, how about putting some of those tasks which remain into the forum? Those teams who didn't have time to mentor during the contest can still write up small tasks and put them into the forum as well. Once you get into the habit of creating postings, you'll be prepared and want to participate in GCi next year!

I know developers often don't like forums, but guess who does like them?
Beginners and people who are using search engines. We need these
people to join our community and start helping out. That will happen
when we ask in a public place, which is the forum.

One more time:

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