[X-post]Join Fedora SIG

Ankur Sinha sanjay.ankur at gmail.com
Thu Jun 14 12:24:52 UTC 2012

Hello folks!

First, please forgive me for the X-post. The email concerns more than
one team and I really didn't know what mailing list to send it to. I've
therefore sent it to the 3 major lists that I hope would cover most of
the community. 


    We've been recently looking to reduce the learning gradient that new
folks need to hike up when they look to contribute to Fedora. Users
looking to give back to the community is amazing. I feel we need to go
out and give them as much help as we can. The importance here is that
most of them will be new to the workflows, SIGS, teams and processes
that Fedora community uses. Quite a few of them will be new to Linux
even. For these novices, learning all that is required to become
contributors is a daunting task. However, what is important is that all
of them have the *potential* to make awesome contributors!

    At the moment, this is how folks go about it:

    1. Look at the join-fedora page[1]
    2. Select what they want to do, or randomly pick one that looks
most familiar
    3. Join the various mailing lists
    4. Ask how they can help
    5. Start working, and learn while they work, get sponsored etc.

Even though this works, there are a few issues here IMO:

    1. Quite a few folks aren't sure what they want to do. The join
fedora page is confusing for them at times. They don't know first hand
what each role is about, so they aren't sure if they should join up SIG
A or SIG B. This doesn't make them "folks that can't contribute (they
can't even figure out what SIG to join! heh!)". It makes them "folks who
need to find where they fit in, what they're good at in the Fedora
    2. The various mailing lists: devel, mktg, infra are work oriented.
While we do guide newcomers that ask for help on the lists, these
newcomers are usually scared to ask questions. They feel they'll make
fools of themselves if they ask simple questions in front of established

    Basically, the working mailing lists aren't exactly the best
environment for new comers. They are task oriented. They aren't
dedicated to aiding new comers. We also don't want lots of introductions
etc. on the work mailing lists either. We want them to be dedicated to

    I therefore suggest setting up communication channels dedicated to
aid newcomers. I've already run into a "Welcome SIG"[2] initiative. The
"welcome SIG" was intended to be more broad. It was intended for users
too. If we set up "welcome SIG", I'm afraid it'll turn into another
troubleshooting channel. We already have #fedora, the users mailing
list[3], askfedora[3] for troubleshooting. I'd like to set up a channel
dedicated to prospective contributors: something like a "Join Fedora
SIG"(proposal on the wiki here[4]). Gnome already has something on these
lines: the Gnome Love[5] project. It works. I'm on the mailing list.
People ask for help, they get their guidance. Slowly, they turn into
contributors. I'd like to again stress that the current mailing lists,
while already present and open to the public are not *dedicated* to this
purpose of guiding newbies. I suggest:

    1. #fedora-join on Freenode
    2. fedora-join mailing list

    The goals of these are:

    1. Set up a communication channel between the existing contributors
and prospective contributors. Speaking to current team members is always
encouraging. We could even set up a system to send "easyfix" tasks to
this mailing list giving folks a chance to work on them and learn in the
    2. Guide/aid prospective contributors to turn into solid
contributors. Rather than just pointing them to join.fp.o, talk to them,
see what issues they face, help them decide where they want to get
    3. Via these channels, form better mentor-mentee relationships.
Here, I mean "mentor" in the real sense of the word. Rahul, for
instance, brought me into Fedora almost 6 years back via a font
packaging IRC work shop. He's still my mentor and I still email him when
I get stuck in a situation. Such relationships improve the community,
both work wise and fun wise.
    4. Give prospective contributors a communication channel to converse
amongst themselves. This is very important. Take the GSoC mailing list
for instance. It is set up specifically so that the candidates can talk
to each other. Since they're all in the same boat, they feel more
comfortable discussing certain issues amongst themselves. They'll also
be aware of what different people are up to which will give them a
better idea of what they can do.

    I'm looking to set up this channel. Whatever I've written above is
mostly what *my* neurons could think up. I initially thought that
extending the classroom SIG to also function as the Join Fedora SIG
would work, but Kevin suggested we keep them separate. (The function of
the classroom SIG is for the community to teach each other). Basically,
I'd like to look for potential, not polish. We can help them gain the
polish that established contributors have.

    What are your views on this folks? Here, I'd request folks to follow
"plussing": please criticize this as much as you want, find issues, but
only if you have a "plus" to give as a solution. (I ran into it in a
book I recently read. I think it's a great way to go. No harm giving it
a try :-) )

    1. File ticket at infra to set up fedora-join mailing list
    2. Set up IRC channel #fedora-join
    3. File ticket with websites SIG to make tiny changes to join.fp.o
to list Fedora-Join IRC and mailing list channels. 
    4. Ask infra if we can set up a system to send "easyfix"
notifications to the channel/mailing list. 
    5. Get started!

[1] http://fedoraproject.org/join-fedora
[2] http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Welcome_SIG
[3] http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Welcome_SIG
[4] https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Fedora_Join_SIG
[5] https://live.gnome.org/GnomeLove
Warm regards,
Ankur: "FranciscoD"

Please only print if necessary. 


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