Build it

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Overview

Rationale: We have a theory: lots of users of free desktop software want to get involved in customizing or contributing to the project's development, but they haven't gotten to the first step of getting the program to compile.

The event: The first week of April, we want to see five projects email their mailing lists saying, "Experienced people will be on the IRC channel at a particular time, waiting to help you compile the app." The second week, we want to see new contributors feel included and invited.

The ask: Are you a member of the development team for a free software desktop app, and do you want more prospective contributors to join in? We need to find four more projects. We need you to email us and pick a day and time that works for you to be in your project's IRC chat room and helping people in your community.

The goal: We want to see a dozen people, over the course of the week, go from confused wannabe contributor to someone who feels comfortable following discussion on their chosen projects' development lists.

Why you should do it for your project

It sends a strong signal to prospective developers that you truly want them to join you.

How to apply on behalf of your project

If you're a free software contributor and know how to compile a program you work on, we want you to run this event within your project.

Email us:

  • starling@openhatch.org
  • Answer these questions, with one sentence or less each:
    • Your project's name
    • What you like about this outreach event
    • How you heard about the "Build it" week

Remember that space is limited, and we'll get back to you to let you know if there are still slots available.

We're particularly looking for projects with plenty of users, which means a healthy pool of people to draw from.

The schedule

Dates and times:

More explanation

  • We're interested in having projects commit to a specific time to be on the channel (even though people are probably on the channel 24/7) because we think that prospective contributors will be motivated by the urgency of having a particular event to attend. We think that even shy people respond to a specific note saying, "We want to help you with a problem you're having".
  • We want you to send this note primarily to places that you think have prospective contributors. That usually means your project's IRC channel and development mailing list. We'll leave it up to you, but keep in mind the goal: more people should be interested in conversations on your development list. (If you want, you can say, "We only want to help people who are on the development mailing list, so sign up before attending.")
  • We would be happy to help you write an effective outreach email; we're going to write up a draft soon.
  • The people who show up might not have much in terms of command-line skills. The email you send out should have a reasonable link to a "How to use the command line" tutorial
  • Most of the people involved in this outreach effort only speak English natively. If you want to help by translating this page

Blog posts

  • Danny said he could write up a blog post about this.

If you want to help newcomers get over their concerns and get your program built, you'll Similar documents

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