Wed 05 October 2016

Fedora Join Meeting 26 September 2016 - Summary

Posted by ankur in Tech (882 words, approximately a 4 minute read)

We had a Fedora Join SIG meeting this Monday. While the minutes are here, I figured I'll summarise them in my own words with the required context. As usual, I'm a week late, but well, better late than never!

Summary and important bits

We started off by reviewing the tickets that have already been filed. Each ticket is briefly summarised below.

During the discussion, we observed how there seemed to be some overlap over the function of the SIG and the work that CommOps is already doing. CommOps is currently working its way through the different teams' onboarding processes to improve them, for example. Nothing major, just updating wiki pages, streamlining things, and that sort. The Join SIG has a general goal of "making it easier for newbies to contribute to Fedora" and that's where the overlap lies. As jflory pointed out, it doesn't make sense for two teams to do the same work, so a clear demarcation needs to be made over the tasks that the SIG will take up. I'm bringing this up on the ML in a thread so that the current team can discuss it.

My personal view

When we started, sure, our goal was quite general - to "make things easier for newbies", but as our goal evolved, we've moved to being more of a communication channel for newbies, a starting point. The idea, and you'll see this if you read the goal statement, is to sit on top of the different Fedora teams and help navigate newbies to teams that they fit best at. Since most teams already have well defined onboarding processes, and the hubs are going to make this even easier, we don't really need to work on any more tooling. It's more about the initial few weeks/months where a novice would struggle to navigate our vast community and it's vast infrastructure/resources. To this end, we:

  • want newbies to communicate with contributors over our communication channels (even before they've found a team to dedicate their time to)
  • want to help newbies form better relationships with current community members (in more than one team, so that they can help out and switch from one team to another more easily)
  • want current contributors to help newbies learn the open source way and the Free software philosophy (you learn this over time, and hanging out with folks that already practice it is a great way to pick things up quicker)
  • want to help match newbies to potential mentors in the community (akin to the ambassadors SIG, but more general)
  • can hold events such as "Fedora Join Days" like "Fedora Test Days" or university "Open days" where we dedicate a day regularly for newbies to come and speak to the community, ask questions, and get started right away
  • more..

None of this is written in stone, of course, and I'll post again once we've had a discussion over this and come to a consensus.

Reviewing past tickets

A quick summary of the more noticeable tickets on our tracker (now on Pagure!).

#11 - Membership tracker - no pending membership requests

We have an FAS group, and a Pagure group to give members access to our Pagure repositories. The two must be kept in sync manually, so we've created a membership tracker ticket. To join the SIG, one can either comment on this ticket, or apply via the FAS group. The admins monitor both :)

#10 - "Fedora and the open source philosophy" essay contest

This is an idea we had a while ago. I think most of the community knows rather well how Fedora's philosophy and stand towards Free software differs from other Linux distributions. The idea here is to hold a contest encouraging community members to write their interpretations and personal reflections on our philosophy. This will get the community speaking about Free software more, to begin with, and it'd also broadcast our first foundation more to the general public, especially our users. It is just another idea to continue spreading the word on Free software to a larger audience.

#9 - "Invite members from other SIGs to join the SIG"

Of course, we need more activity in the SIG's channels. We need more contributors to hang around to help newbies, and we need more newbies to help out. This, at the moment, is a WIP. There are some other wrinkles to iron out first. (Read on.)

#8 - "Mail people listed on the wiki page as members to see if they're still interested"

Another old ticket. We had a list of people add their names to the wiki list. We hadn't had the FAS group set up back then so they couldn't join it. I've sent them all an e-mail asking if I should add them to the SIG.

#7 - "Prospective contributor introduction template"

We think it's a good idea to have a template that folks can use to introduce themselves over various mailing lists. Sure, introductions are easy, but for someone who hasn't worked in free software or open source communities before, it may not be easy to decide on what the introduction should contain. The template will serve as a guideline in such situations.

Other tickets

The other tickets were minor admin tasks that we skipped over. We'll go over them again in a future meeting.