On the progress call on September 14, someone (I think it was Sunil) had an idea which would help us recruit more contributors: development challenges.
The idea is to post a few software development tasks to the forum every week and advertise these as challenges. This idea has two goals:
- to gain code contributions
- to recruit new team members
I propose pursue this idea in three steps:
1. Curating challenges: Members of the core team (@njoseph, @sunil, @jvalleroy) will identify software development tasks which could be executed by a new contributor. These tasks will be well-defined in a brief paragraph or bullet-point to-do list. Ideally, they will be approachable for newcomers and could serve as a good gateway into our project. In the beginning, when we expect response to be slow, the core team should plan to identify and describe only a few challenges per month. Once existing challenges have been completed or removed from the list for whatever reason, the team can identify new challenges.
2. Advertising challenges: Each challenge will be posted in the forum under a new “Challenges” category. Each challenge listing will follow this structure:
- Description of a well-defined problem
- To-do list for solving the problem (just like the to-do lists on gitlab issues)
- Skills needed
I suspect that we will write challenge listings as wiki posts on the forum, so all can edit it together. I can take on the responsibility of starting these wiki posts to the forum, although I will need help in writing all three of the above sections. Once listings have been written, I will advertise these challenges on social media, mailing lists, and IRC. If someone already has written a well-defined to-do list on Gitlab, simply send me the link and I can convert it into a challenge post on the forum myself.
3. Executing challenges: Once someone expresses interest in executing a challenge, we can welcome them into our community and be in touch when they have questions. When a challenge has been completed, we can recognize the developer with posts on social media and list their name on our contributors wiki page.
Feedback on this proposal?
As a rough outline of the proposal, how does that sound? If people think it sounds good, then the first step would be for someone to nominate a task as our first challenge. I can then get started on writing a forum post for it.