Forming a welcome team to guide newcomers
Open, NormalPublic

Description

I believe it's worth considering forming a team to welcome new contributors to the KDE community.

Having someone to reach out to is a major stress reliever for people new to a community, as they can act as a first port of call for their needs.

Of great importance is human contact here. No matter how good of a wiki and documentation we offer, it can never replace the value that personal contact brings to the table and how it contributes to increasing the sense of community among members.

This team would be responsible for:

  • Responding to people contacting KDE and offering to help in some way or another (e.g. an email on a mailing list, someone reaching out to a member of the community who could then redirect them here)
  • Gathering information on newcomers and their background,skills and interest that would be useful in directing them to a specific KDE project/team.
  • Introducing newcomers to members of the community, and especially connecting them with people that are relevant with the area they would like to help with.
  • Maintaining frequent contact and offering support and guidance to contributors until they feel comfortable with the community and its procedures.
  • Helping newcomers gaining access rights for completing the tasks they are involved in.
  • Gathering feedback on the onboarding experience of new contributors.
  • Holding events (on/off-line) targeted at newcomers, where they can be informed, ask questions, participate in discussions, or even get a chance to get their hands dirty with some tasks.

The welcome team should have/gain a good understanding of the community, its members, projects and procedures and maintain points of contact among the various teams.

If you would like to be part of this team, please leave your name below so we can start working on it.

Any further ideas and comments are more than welcome!

I'm willing to be part of KDE's welcome team

neofytosk triaged this task as Normal priority.
neofytosk updated the task description. (Show Details)May 15 2018, 8:35 AM
hein added a subscriber: hein.May 15 2018, 12:04 PM

It's worth noting we have this in a non-formalized way. The Getting Involved pages have always listed mentors you can contact for 1on1 questions (I've responsed to mails due to this for many years).

The link to the Mentoring page is literally the last word of the Getting involved page. I did read the getting involved page (maybe with not too much attention), but I did not reach the mentoring page and did not figured out I could contact a developer directly. Maybe this link can be highlight better somehow?

Few more feedback about seeking for help:

  • I often first try the forum, which works in some cases (scummos always replies fast to problems related to KDevelop for example) and other times works less well (https://forum.kde.org/viewtopic.php?f=305&t=136350)
  • I sometimes try IRC but that does not work very well, because a developer needs to be online at the same time you are online
  • I hate mailing lists, you need to sign up to ask a questions and then yo get flooded with irrelevant emails. These though seems the way developers most like, and usually you get an answer.
  • Been able to contact a mentor/developer directly seems a very good way to get started. Especially I would contact them to ask them where to find the information I need, and who should I contact for the specific project I am working on in case I have specific problems.

If a welcome team is created and this contacts the newcomers instead of waiting to be contacted would work even better.

hein added a comment.May 16 2018, 9:42 AM

I sometimes try IRC but that does not work very well, because a developer needs to be online at the same time you are online

The best way to use IRC is to stay online, and wait long enough for someone to answer. Most regular IRC users treat the medium as semi-async.

These though seems the way developers most like, and usually you get an answer.

Developers don't particularly like mailing lists, it just has this async property that lets you get to it later.

In T8712#142098, @hein wrote:

It's worth noting we have this in a non-formalized way. The Getting Involved pages have always listed mentors you can contact for 1on1 questions (I've responsed to mails due to this for many years).

Good to know, thanks. In this case, another sub-task here could be to go through these pages and gather this info into a list so we can then form a map of all the people that act as entry points/first line of response for newcomers to the KDE community across its various projects. I'm sure once complete it would be useful in other ways as well.

  • Been able to contact a mentor/developer directly seems a very good way to get started. Especially I would contact them to ask them where to find the information I need, and who should I contact for the specific project I am working on in case I have specific problems.

    If a welcome team is created and this contacts the newcomers instead of waiting to be contacted would work even better.

I'm glad that you find value in this. I think such a team of people could be very valuable in connecting newcomers with experienced members and lessening the steep of the getting involved curve. And yes, we can of course be more proactive in reaching out to people we know are contributing for the first time, I'm sure they would appreciate such a gesture.

neofytosk updated the task description. (Show Details)Jun 8 2018, 3:24 PM
acrouthamel updated the task description. (Show Details)Sep 5 2018, 10:13 PM
acrouthamel added a subscriber: acrouthamel.

I'd be glad to help out. This is something that would be a huge help in my opinion. I'm pretty new (I'll answer those newcomer questions shortly), and I know having an easier to find on-boarding group would have been great. Luckily, I found Nate and started bothering him, so it all worked out. But I'm sure a lot of people could use a helping hand to get settled into a KDE project.

ngraham updated the task description. (Show Details)Sep 9 2018, 7:28 PM
ngraham added a subscriber: ngraham.

The link to the Mentoring page is literally the last word of the Getting involved page.

Fixed now. :) See https://community.kde.org/Get_Involved#Start_Here.21

Much better now. Thanks!

A good next step might be creating a formal Phabricator group for this, to which people could add themselves. Then for example we could document that new contributors should add the group as a reviewer for their first patches, which could help make sure that those critical first patches don't get lost and always have someone available who can help. Thoughts?

neofytosk added a comment.EditedSep 12 2018, 1:42 PM

@ngraham are you suggesting to form a group for mentors on Phabricator? If yes, I have some suggestions on that, but we should probably continue this discussion on T8713. Let me know and I'll post my comments there.

bdhruve updated the task description. (Show Details)Oct 3 2018, 1:45 AM
bdhruve added a subscriber: bdhruve.

A good next step might be creating a formal Phabricator group for this, to which people could add themselves. Then for example we could document that new contributors should add the group as a reviewer for their first patches, which could help make sure that those critical first patches don't get lost and always have someone available who can help. Thoughts?

Hello, yeah it is a good idea.

bdhruve added a comment.EditedOct 3 2018, 1:56 AM

Well from my end i was going through the Kde-dev-guide, and i offered a few suggestions to Valorie would love to share here as well,
ln the Dev guide it states KDE from developers viewpoint, we could add some thing like KDE from a new contributor point of view or some other nice term, and in this we could give information about:

  • What is KDE?
  • How did the new contributor come to know about KDE (so in this we would ask the new contributors this question and merge them in the docs)
  • Being part of KDE what did the new contributor gain? (experiences of the new contributors)
  • Then we would give the information about How to Install KDE in a descriptive manner.

Have asked a few to give a bit descriptive note for the above. You guys can also give some inputs in this, and hope we all make an amazing documentation for new comers.
I would love to be a part of this team :)

Hi @bdhruve , before responding to your suggestions, I would like to be sure if you are referring to this guide: https://community.kde.org/Plasma/DeveloperGuide

Or is it about something else?

ashwins added a subscriber: ashwins.Oct 7 2018, 8:38 PM

Hi @bdhruve , before responding to your suggestions, I would like to be sure if you are referring to this guide: https://community.kde.org/Plasma/DeveloperGuide

Or is it about something else?

Well i was asking to do these changes for new contributors guide (kde_dev_guide).

Hello Everyone,

We have created a Matrix group: https://matrix.to/#/#kde-welcome:matrix.org
Anyone interested to be part of the team, please feel free to join :)

Hello Everyone,

We have created a Matrix group: https://matrix.to/#/#kde-welcome:matrix.org
Anyone interested to be part of the team, please feel free to join :)

Awesome!

Is this Matrix-only, or is it bridged to IRC?

bdhruve added a comment.EditedThu, Nov 15, 3:27 PM

Hello Everyone,

We have created a Matrix group: https://matrix.to/#/#kde-welcome:matrix.org
Anyone interested to be part of the team, please feel free to join :)

Awesome!

Is this Matrix-only, or is it bridged to IRC?

Hey Nate,

Yes, room is in Matrix-only for now, if needed we can bridge it to IRC :)