Our mission is to lower the barrier to and increase contributions to Drupal.org Core and Contrib modules, themes and documentation by taking participants through the process step-by-step, in the presence of (and with direct guidance from) experienced contributors.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that there may be large numbers of people out there on the fringes of full Community participation; people who use Drupal on a daily basis - for their primary source of income even - who very much want to contribute to Drupal.org but for a variety of reasons (intimidation, insecurity about their skill level, fear of looking stupid or being ridiculed, etc.), but haven't done so yet. The purpose of DrupalConTribute events is to ease to transition to active participation in a controlled and supportive setting.
It's like riding a bike!
Regular contributors often tell stories about their first time: how afraid and intimidated they were, and then how easy it was in practice. It was a rite of passage. Once they did it, from then on it was easy. These events are designed to provide support for this transitional experience and to aggressively grow the number of contributors in the Drupal Community.
DrupalConTribute Event Features
- All DrupalConTribute events will have small groups (cohorts) of approximately 20 learners (and eventually multiples of these) for maximum access to support.
- The Events run one (probably weekend) day.
- Participants bring their own laptops and skillsets, everything else will be provided via the use of thumb drive or downloadable VM installers with Drupal QuickStart pre-installed (or maybe a customized fork thereof). Free WiFi will be provided at the event.
- There will be a place for every type of contribution: modules, themes, documentation.
- There will be a morning prep and lecture session, followed by a catered lunch break, then a longer hands-on section.
- The leaders of each cohort will be comprised of one or more Facilitators and a Maintainer for each of the respective issue queues which will be the Topic Projects of that particular event.
- the Event will cover such critical topics such as issue queue etiquette, best practices (what they are and how to find them) for all the steps involved in the process, the GPL license and other common Open Source licenses and what they mean, using Git in the context of Drupal.org, and other peripheral and foundation topics. These concepts will be immediately be out into practice in the hands-on section of the Event.
- What will NOT be covered: core competences in each area (these skills must be provided by the participants) - coding, themeing, technical writing.
- All leadership is provided by volunteer Drupal.org members. No monetary compensation is expected or provided.
- There will be sponsorship opportunities.
- The goal is to keep the cost of participation nominal ($20 or so) to encourage and enable participation.
- The Event leadership will decide and announce the specific Module, Theme and Documentation projects for each Event in advance. There will be one of each type per cohort.
- Based on the skills and preferences of the participants, each participant will select a single issue from the queue of the previously announced Topic Project. This acts as a base for introducing and reinforcing the idea of the Code Sprint as it obtains to the Drupal Community.
- we expect to achieve a 100% completion/success rate, using the following combination of strategies:
- The Maintainer, Co-Maintainer or another person authorized to perform technical content review and commit patches into the issue queue for each announced module, theme and documentation for the Event will be present to answer questions, review and discuss patches, and expedite the commit process.
- "Success" means that a participant has completed the entire process, solved the issue, and seen their patch reviewed and committed as part of the issue queue on Drupal.org.
- Participants will use peer-to-peer discussion and problem-solving to help each other solve their particular issue, thereby emulating and reinforcing community relationships.
- New friendships and professional support relationships will be fostered between members of each cohort that will bleed (hopefully) over into the outside post-event world. Post-event informal cohort "reunions" are planned if there is interest
- The small size of the cohorts (approx 20 individuals) will facilitate plenty of support for each participant.
- Use of standardized tools via the VM provided will allow best practices and processes to be taught and reinforced through hands-on supervised application, and also facilitate cooperation between members of the cohort.
- We hope to keep the event fun, light, open and low-stress by providing this support scaffolding to ensure a successful outcome
- These Events are intended to be held by local Drupal community members EVERYWHERE. The first DrupalConTribute will tentatively be held in New York City in Q4 2011. This will be our "pilot event". No final date has been decided as yet. Lessons learned from the pilot event will provide the beta testing for our process, and afterwards organization materials will be created and posted here for use by any group that wishes to hold an event in their locale.
- Ideally the Event will provide some fun, memento (badge, patch, t-shirt, etc) of the program that celebrates the participants' successful completion of their patch commit as a rite of passage.
- Have an afterparty in the evening after the Event.
These are NOT-FOR-PROFIT events. All we require for others to use any materials and processes we gather is that, wherever you are, you do the same. Pay it forward, people.
We're just getting started, and need lots of help organizing our first DrupalConTribute event - so if you're interested and want to do something positive to increase Community Contribution, please join the group, post your ideas and help out!