How to be a successful contributor

Mike McGrath mmcgrath at
Sun Jul 11 17:46:43 UTC 2010

On Sun, 11 Jul 2010, Jeroen van Meeuwen wrote:

> Mike McGrath wrote:
> > With the help of some others I've put this document together:
> >
> >
> >
> > I intend on having it be required reading for new members of the
> > Infrastructure team as part of our GettingStarted page.  I thought I'd
> > mention it here in case others would like to make it part of their sign up
> > process.
> >
> > Questions / comments welcome.
> >
> Reading this page for the first time...
> It looks like a better title would be:
>   "How to *become* a successful contributor"
> Further, the page isn't written very well; Who thinks it's suitable to say to
> a new, potential contributor:
>   "It is your job to ..."
>   "This step is both incredibly difficult and important."
>   "The single biggest mistake new contributors make"
> It just sounds way too negative, and I'm thinking for a prominent page to be
> put in front of many new, potentially very valuable contributors, it should be
> motivating, a brochure to close the sale.
> So, in effect, where we say "incredibly difficult to find a mentor", what we
> should be asking ourselves is "why is it difficult to find a mentor and more
> importantly, what can we do about it?". A solution as simple as a wiki page
> listing mentors and their location (physical proximity helps) might just solve
> that problem.

The document just states reality.  I'm not that happy with it either
(reality, not the document).  The reality is it is very difficult to find
a mentor we've tried to create a mentor program twice and both failed
within the first month or two.

As far as sounding negative.  It's really hard to join the project right
now.  New contributors make mistakes.  It is the volunteers job to do
certain things.  It's worded that way because that's how things work.
Sure, it'd be great to wave a magic wand and have it super easy for people
to do whatever they want whenever they want but that's not the Fedora
Project we're in today.  AFAIK no one has that project.


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