Some community engagement news.
mhoye at mozilla.com
Fri Aug 1 17:33:47 UTC 2014
This is partly a repost, as it was suggested I'd find a wider audience
for it. A bit of a wall of text, sure, but I think it'll be worth your
while. There are bits in here about what we're doing right, what we need
more of, and what we can learn to do better.
Here's an interesting paper that came out recently: " Barriers faced by
newcomers to open source projects: a systematic review", by Igor
You might want to skim it, but you'll be happy to hear that:
- We are doing basically everything right, and
- Nothing in there comes as a huge surprise.
That's a pretty good feeling, but it's important to have a feeling like
that backed up with evidence.
One nice thing about that paper is that it's got a couple of numbers in
it that continue to matter a lot to us. Getting back to new contributors
with 48 hours remains super-important. Likewise DXR links in good first
bugs and tags that help matchmaking contributors' skills to the bug's
Mentors that are helpful, thank contributors and point people to the
next bug they can work on. We do these things because we're all
civilized people who care about our work and our community, obviously,
but it's nice to know that in addition to feeling good, this stuff is
So: I'm in the early stages of planning a short course about effective
mentoring; what we know about communicating and educating people, how
that applies to our community, best practices to adopt and pitfalls to
avoid. I'd like to subject people inside Mozilla to this thing and then
expand that out to community contributors who we'd like to see become
If you're interested in being a part of that - as a recipient or
contributor - let me know.
NEXT AND LAST you're almost done go team: We're getting a lot of good
results from our community-engagement efforts around good-first and
mentored bugs, but getting community members on to priority bugs hasn't
been anywhere near as successful. Diamond bugs - bugs that make it all
the way to triage meetings but don't ultimately get assigned - are in
very short supply; we don't have enough variety that there are a lot of
good matches to offer people who want to move up to the next level.
I'd like to open the floodgates a bit here; if we can bring an extra 30
to 50 points worth of work into these meetings, knowing that they won't
get all the way to assignment and particularly stuff that you can
eyeball as being at the 1-5 workpoint level, that would give our
community members a better sense of how to engage with stuff that's
capital-I important to Mozilla.
I've been answering community mail about how to find bugs that matter,
and I'd like to have a good answer for people who want to do that work
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