About MeKat Toomajian (MissKat, zarhooie)Dreamwidth Studios, LLCCommunity & Volunteer SupportExperience15+ years Non-Profit5+ years Non-Profit Management4+ years OSS
Why This TalkGeneral Perceptions about OSS− Little diversity− Hostile community− Need to already have experience− Interview process
Why This TalkBreaking it down− Half the people on the planet arent male10-30% of tech professionals are femaleOnly 1.5-5% of OSS developers are female− Everyones a newcomer− Experience is a catch-22− Your vol interviews you, not the other way around
Your Project is Not A Special SnowflakeLots of projects out there− Your potential volunteers have choices− Make yourself competitive in the marketPotential volunteers look for− Culture− Environment− Other people− ???? (can be literally anything else)
STEP ZERO:How Do I People???Be nice.− Keep your IRC channel PG-13− Community standards, enforced adequately, willself-enforcePeer pressure works both ways− Combative vs Collaborative developmentIts ok to argue about stuffIts not ok to argue in a way that ends with peopleleaving the project
Four Letter WordsWoman is not a four letter word.Neither is diversity.− Dont make assumptions or jokes based aroundracism, ableism, sexism, or any other -isms− These jokes arent funny, and will drive volunteersaway from your project.If you hurt someones feelings...− Apologize. Dont tell them to get thicker skin.
STEP ONE:Follow the Yellow Brick CodeWanted: awesome people!− Not everyone has experience, but...Lots of people want experienceLet them get that experience by coding for you!A → B → CGive people a job to do.Make mentors available.
STEP TWO:What Can You Doo-OO-oo... with aNewbie Dev?Training and mentoring your developersClear path from user to leader to management− User to developer to leadershipDeveloper development is a lifestyle choice− Takes effort, but its totally worth it− DW brought 14 devs and staff to YAPC fordevelopment. The return will justify the means.
Invest in Your CommunityCommon Fears of OSS Projects− They dont know enough to be useful− Im too busy to handle their question− If they have a question, theyll ask− I had to do it the hard way/thats not how I learned
Invest in Your CommunityRebuttals− Knowledge is an acquired thing, not innate− Mentoring is the most important thing you can do.− Technology advances. So should teachingtechniques− Dont ridicule those who ask for help
What is a Newbie Dev?Specific term for someone new to a project ordevelopment in generalYou dont have to go through the mentoring ifyou dont want toMany of our devs started out knowing nothingabout coding at all, let alone how to code
So What CAN They Do?Let them work on tiny bugs− Makes you look good− You dont have to untrain bad habits!− Can point to it and say I DID THATMotivational toolRetention tool
STEP THREE:?????????Every project and developer has specialrequirements− THIS IS OK.Look to your projects culture to find out whatthese needs are− Adjust accordingly.
Be Encouraging!Give credit where credits due− News posts− “merit badges”− Bribes can be a good motivational toolWrite referencesImpostor Syndrome 101
Theres a Place for (almost) EveryoneDont allow people who are violatingcommunity standards to keep doing that.Non-Development Positions− Cheerleaders− DocumentationEnd-UserProjectCulture− End-User SupportEnd-User Support is a gateway drug to development
STEP FOUR:Profit!Mentoring = Long-Term Project Survival− More invested = will bring their friendsNext to having dev custom built, its the bestAll your tiny stuff gets fixedNo bad habits to train outThey will learn what you want them to learnhow you want them to learn it.
LETS RECAP!Be Nice. Learn how to people.Lower your entry barriers.Mentor your developers.Project-specific goalsEnsure the long-term survival of your project
How Can I Do This In My Project?You can do them all, but start with one.− Pick one.Probably be nice/welcoming− Master it.− Move on to the next one.Learning how to newcomers takes time.− Be patient.− Ask for help.− perldoc friendlymentor (not really, I made this up)
Birthday Hat Hedgehog sez:THANKS FOR LISTENING!