On Mon, Aug 29, 2016 at 12:16 PM, Ankur Sinha <sanjay.ankur(a)gmail.com>
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Before I begin, if you're a member of the Fedora community already,
please apply for membership to the fedora-join group in FAS.
(That'll give us an idea of how many community members are interested
in the SIG.) If you are a newbie and haven't introduced yourself yet,
please do so.
It's a somewhat long e-mail, but please bear with me and skim through
it. I encourage *everyone* to reply to this e-mail with ideas/comments!
Background and aim of this group
For years now, we've heard that new potential contributors (henceforth
referred to as "newbies") have a hard time joining the community. The
reasons for this include, but are not limited to:
- - newbies are timid (think squirrels!)
- - newbies aren't used to the open source way of self education (Google
the hell out of things, RTFM attitude, shamelessly ask questions if
needed, NO spoon feeding and so on)
- - newbies lose interest if they don't make friends and integrate into
the community in a few weeks (few days?).
- - the community is *vast*, spread over different teams with their own
systems and procedures, and for someone new, finding the right
people/channels/procedures can be quite daunting.
- - community members are usually quite busy to give detailed replies -
we're all volunteers here.
- - more?
So the idea of setting up the SIG was to set up channels of
communication where newbies can come and in an extremely friendly
environment form relationships within themselves, and with the
As tobi mentioned, mentorship sounds like a really good idea. This will
definitely help out a lot of so so-called "newbies" get started. I know how
it feels like to be one and I must say I was really hesitant to start
mailing list threads in the beginning. Apart from this, it'll also be a
nice idea to have weekly/bi-weekly/monthly meetings on the channel or any
of the fedora meeting channels to keep track of things and help newcomers
there. I see traces of fedora-join meetings in meetbot but looks like
it's not active now. It'll be really nice if someone can step-up and
For this to work, we need:
- - the infrastructure. We have:
* this mailing list
- - community members hanging out in these channels and willing to speak
to newbies, help them get in touch with the right people, help them
find the right resources, and so on.
- - newbies.
I hope this makes sense to everyone? Does everyone agree that the idea
is a sane one? Any tweaks?
How are we doing?
Well, not too good, I'd say. We've helped out some folks in the past,
but we're not as active as we should be. Ideally, we should be up to
our ears in e-mails and questions and people. So why aren't we?
- - Part of this is of course because we're busy with other things;
- - Part of this is also because we haven't managed to gain enough
traction to get more members of the community involved in helping out
at the group.
- - I'm not sure the entire community is aware of the existence of the
channels we've set up
- - I'm not sure if we are visible enough for newbies to find us (for
example, we're not on whatcanidoforfedora.org
Hmm, isn't the website a part of the Fedora Join effort to bring in more
contributors? I don't see how it'll fit in there. We can definitely have a
footer which says "More Questions? Talk to us on #fedora-join on Freenode"
or something along those lines.
Other related reasons:
- - we don't meet often (but do we need regular IRC meetings?)
What can we do?
Now, this is the interesting bit! What do we do to improve the current
state? Events (physical/IRC), make more noise, turn up in the right
places, make ourselves more visible?
Off the top of my head:
- - We should make more noise to inform the community that we're here to
help newbies get started
- - I think we need to be better organised. For example, we don't have a
SOP document (standard operating procedure) to guide either newbies or
contributors to this group. Maybe we can set up a pagure repo where we
open a new ticket for each newbie, and then close it when the newbie's
integrated nicely with the community?
- - We need to embrace metrics too - how many newbies do we have on this
list? How many have we helped? Maybe we can set up a feedback form and
request newbies to fill it out when they're ready? How many
contributors do we have on this list? How often do people refer newbies
to our channels?
I can work on the metrics part of it. I am working on a tool to gather
user statistics and recently added a feature to get statistics of an entire
FAS group. The tool requires polishing and I'm planning to have a web
interface for it soon. If you guys can tell me what kind of stats/metrics
is required, I can ready 'em up :)
- - We need to integrate better with the community - we seem to be a
standalone group at the moment, and that just won't work. Maybe
could integrate with CommOps better, since CommOps has members from the
Sounds like a plan, I will open a ticket regarding this and discuss in
tomorrow's CommOps meeting.
cc-ing CommOps here for more comments.
- - Maybe an IRC meeting a month just to keep ourselves active
be such a bad idea?
- - The fas group is only for community members, do we need another
newbies? Should we just open the group to newbies? (This can then be
used to give them wiki access which has been limited to cla+1 to deal
Spammers are social engineering a lot nowadays. We cannot really afford to
open up to new contributors just yet.
- - What else?
Please, add to this list!
Please do keep up with the Fedora hubs initiative. It's going to be
marvellous! It also has some functionality to enable people to join
groups, but I still don't think it's a complete replacement for good
old school conversation when it comes to forming relationships.
Please, do reply to this e-mail with whatever ideas you have - we can't
improve things without ideas and discussion.
I'm still drowning in work, but when I do have time off (like this long
weekend!), I'm going to be active. Most of you know that I lurk in a
lot of fedora channels as FranciscoD, please feel free to ping me.
Ankur Sinha "FranciscoD"
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