Fsoss 2010


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Presentation for FSOSS 2010.

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Fsoss 2010

  1. 1. Finding a Community (Even if You're not a Developer) Dru Lavigne Community Manager, PC-BSD Project FSOSS 2010
  2. 2. This presentation will discuss: Benefits to Contributing Finding a Best-Fit Community Getting Started Overcoming Problems Reducing Barriers to Contributions
  3. 3. Benefits: Experience Gain experience you can add to your resume Learn how to use industry tools in large, collaborative, non-lab environments Learn hard and soft skills Learn from others in your spare time
  4. 4. Benefits: Networking Meet people from all over the world who are interested in your industry Benefit from the experience of other community members (many who are famous and have written cool stuff) When it comes to landing a job, it really is about "who you know"
  5. 5. Benefits: Recognition It is possible to build a name for yourself and become an authority on topic XYZ One way to break the glass ceiling as you become known for what you do, not what you look like Savvy employers Google potential hires— will they find you?
  6. 6. Finding the Best-fit A little research in the beginning may save you wasted time later: create a project short list Look for opportunites that match your interests A technical fit is not necessarily the best-fit Shop around and don't feel the need to stay (or give up entirely) if the fit isn't working out
  7. 7. Best-fit: Development Does the code base support the language(s) you are interested in? Is there a bugs database? Is there a published style guide? Are there opportunities to be mentored by more senior members? to earn a “commit bit”?
  8. 8. Best-fit: Technical Writing Does the project have a documentation team? Does it have any documentation? How steep is the learning curve for the tools used to manage documentation? How open is the project to publishing or linking to technical blogs, how-tos, interviews, articles, whitepapers, etc.?
  9. 9. Best-fit: Design Does the project have a UI design team? Are requests for UI improvements taken seriously or ignored? Does the website need a design revamp? Does the project have a logo or recognized “brand”?
  10. 10. Best-fit: Marketing Every project needs help in this area! You could create brochures, arrange events and contests, administer research surveys, perform datamining, maintain a news feed or blog roll, create ads for ezines, etc.
  11. 11. Getting Started Research the Project's communication channels: Are you comfortable using the available technologies? Are you comfortable with their tone? Lurk for a while or skim the archives.
  12. 12. Getting Started Look for opportunity: Does the Project need assistance in areas that match your goals? Does it publish a wish or TO DO list? Is it easy to contribute or are there barriers to overcome?
  13. 13. Getting Started Weigh your options: Every Project contains individual personalities (including yours) Every Project is different in tone, communication channels, available resources, technical skills, etc. No project is perfect
  14. 14. Getting Started Jump in and start doing something: Find and engage in a communication channel Join a local user group Attend a conference or local user group
  15. 15. Getting Started Be smart about it: Learn the rules of Netiquette Read the Project's FAQs Treat others how you want to be treated Be persistent
  16. 16. Overcoming Problems If noone responds to your communications? Don't be impatient and just leave Check your question Try another communication channel Over time, notice patterns
  17. 17. Overcoming Problems If you start a flame war? Apologize once, then stay out of it Don't do whatever it was you did again
  18. 18. Overcoming Problems If you encounter elitism, sexism, racism, or some other nasty-ism? Don't pretend it didn't happen Privately bring it to the attention of a leader in the Project (and note their response)
  19. 19. Reducing Barriers Publish a “how you can help” list prominently on the Project website “Groom” people on IRC and forums: help them write a good bug report, encourage them to publish a how-to, blog their experience, tweet what is happening Address inappropriate behaviour that occurs on communication channels
  20. 20. Reducing Barriers Use recognized tools and include “getting started” guides to reduce learning curve Hold regular code/doc/idea-athons Organize face-to-face events: local user groups, unconferences, participation in global events such as SFD
  21. 21. Reducing Barriers Acknowledge contributions! e.g. don't let patches rot in a queue Pair new contributors with community members Think beyond the codebase! After all, open source is about community...
  22. 22. Questions? URL to slides: http://www.slideshare.net/dlavigne /fsoss-2010 dru@freebsd.org