Community Perspective Discussion

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This page provides some "food for thought" questions related to the open source community perspective on attracting and keeping new contributors and making them successful. The goal in posing these questions is to help frame the workshop discussion.

  1. How important is it to attract new contributors?
    • What is the motivation for attracting newbies?
      • What is the motivation for attracting students?
    • What percentage of effort is spent on attracting newbies?
    • What is the impact on project future?
  2. How do projects attract new contributors?
    • What is it about a project that draws new users? Domain? Technology? Community?
      • Does this differ for students?
    • What techniques have been successful for drawing new contributors?
    • What challenges do you face in attracting new contributors?
  3. What are the onramps for your project?
    • Have you developed learning activities or resources to help in on-ramp?
      • This might be as simple as a brief tour of the project site pointing out features for potential contributors
    • What would be useful as an onramp?
      • Is this something students could build? Bootstrap participation?
  4. How do projects retain contributors?
    • What techniques have been successful for retaining contributors?
      • Would these need modification for students?
    • How do you guide contributors towards increasing value to the project?
      • How successful have you been with this?
  5. What skills/knowledge should a potential contributor have?
    • Where do you suggest newbies start?
    • What role do you hope that new contributors play in your project?
    • What is the minimum set of knowledge/skills contributors need to get started?
      • This could be technical or soft skills.
    • What kinds of contributions work best for new contributors?
    • What kinds of contributions are most likely to be accepted by the project?
    • What more advanced knowledge is valuable?
    • How do you convey the need for more advanced knowledge? How do you "grow" newbies?
    • What are the biggest learning curve issues for newbies?
    • Do you use different approaches/techniques for newbies versus people that appear to have some background?
  6. What advice would you give instructors on how to approach and work with a project?
    • What should instructors do to ensure interactions with students are a positive for the community?
    • What is the right way for instructors to approach a project in order to ensure successful interactions?
    • What should instructors do to ensure successful interactions over time?
    • How can instructors give back to the community?
  7. How can foss2serve bridge the gap between education and HFOSS projects?
    • How can we make student participation work better for all concerned?
  8. What else?
    • What other aspects have we not considered?
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