Talk:New Developers/Featured Projects

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Summary by AKlapper (WMF)

A subpage under mw:New_Developers it is.

Qgil-WMF (talkcontribs)

"TODO: Decide on page name and place on mediawiki.org."

Here is a crazy idea: Featured projects, in the main namespace.  :)

The page would start with the list of featured projects, and then would continue with a section "Feature your project" where this information would be provided, as simplified as possible.

Missing intro and list of projects

2
Qgil-WMF (talkcontribs)

We need an intro explaining what are Featured Projects and what is their role onboarding new developers.

We also need the list itself. phab:T165920 lists some projects already, and we could start from there (I'd need to check with Kiwix again, so they are aware). I wonder about the format of the list. The project title alone will not be very informative or attractive for newcomers.

AKlapper (WMF) (talkcontribs)

I added a "Background" section in Featured Projects. We run into the problem of page audience - that page currently targets project maintainers; a page listing the participating projects should be separate and focus new contributors, as part of a "several steps" approach which would require reworking our horrible onboarding docs quite a bit. So it should be moved, but for moving we need to have a grip about the structure of pages for new contributors (I like https://wiki.gnome.org/Newcomers a lot; cf. https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T164084).

Format of the project list: I like the format on How to contribute. Or the boxes on Manual:Pywikibot. (Basically: Anything that does not look like a dusty wall of text but more like a recent page.)

(Unrelated recent thought: "Featured Projects" might sound like the point of view of some organization. As a potential contributor I might rather want to find "Recommended Projects" or such. But I might be bikeshedding.)

Phabricator required for first tasks

4
Qgil-WMF (talkcontribs)

Following the theme of consistency across Featured Projects, the Tasks section should require to have firsts tasks in Phabricator.

One possibility related to Improve the per-programming-language listings for our tools would be to require tags for programming languages.

What about mentioning the usefulness of clonable tasks, if the project can have any?

For context, it would be useful to mention that these first tasks will be also useful for GSoC/Outreachy (where "microtasks" are requested) and Google Code-in (where almost all tasks fit these requirements).

This makes me think that perhaps we should consolidate our vocabulary and call all these "easy" "first" "micro" tasks in just one way. "Microtasks"?

AKlapper (WMF) (talkcontribs)

I would not "require tasks in Phab". Some projects use GitHub, others maybe SourceForge. As long as there is a defined way to find beginner tasks in the task tracking tool the project uses, I don't plan to force them to create a Phab project that they won't really use and having two task trackers for one project.

Mentioning clonable is a good point, thanks!

"Easy" has always been a frustrating term if you've fiddled for ages setting up your dev environment. As "first" can have several meanings, "micro" might indeed be a good idea!

AKlapper (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Or did you mean creating placeholder tasks in Phabricator (tagged as "easy" currently) which would basically just say "See https://github.com/project/issues/123 for the real task" in the description? I don't see the advantage of that.

Qgil-WMF (talkcontribs)

Alright, then let's start with your approach, and see how it goes.  :)

Reply to "Phabricator required for first tasks"

Featured project landing page, TCG, CoC

6
Qgil-WMF (talkcontribs)

One of the problems newcomers face is that useful information are all widespread and lacks basic consistency. I think it will be easier to engage newcomers if we organize our end better. A starting point is to expect that all Featured Projects will have a landing page with the basic project information in MediaWiki.org. Full stop. Once this landing page is in place, then they can have the rest of their information wherever they prefer, in the way it pleases to them.

I have checked the Technical Collaboration Guidance for guidance about how this project info page should be, but didn't find anything specific. I have asked / proposed.

By the way, I think that willingness to follow the TCG best practices could be a requirement for Featured Project. This is how we connect all the good stuff we are working on.

Explicit adoption of the Code of Conduct is another possibility (useful to promote the CoC among newcomers, also to make clear that even if some project infrastructure is out of the Wikimedia scope (GitHub etc), the CoC still applies there by decision of the project maintainers.

Consistent project info, TCG expectations and CoC adoption for all Featured Projects should help offering a better landing for newcomers.

AKlapper (WMF) (talkcontribs)

TCG and CoC are helpful but we'd recommend or require them anyway in software development / the community. Feel free to link to them under "See Also" if you feel like?

AKlapper (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Once we list projects on a page for potential contributors I don't think the landing page with basic project information must be on MediaWiki.org. If folks prefer to put such info on GitHub they are free to do so IMHO. Or that very information will be already included on the "overview of featured projects" page, which will be on mediawiki.org anyway...?

Qgil-WMF (talkcontribs)
Qgil-WMF (talkcontribs)

"Documentation for developers and users is in place and linked from a visible place". Here again we could be more precise with a requirement. That visible place is the landing page.

In fact, with all these instructions we are already providing an implicit structure to the project landing page. It needs:

  • a basic project description
  • mentors identified
  • link to microtasks
  • link to developer documentation
  • (link to) roadmap
AKlapper (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Ah, interesting. By "documentation" I had more or less "dev docs" in mind but you've got a point. Done.

Reply to "Featured project landing page, TCG, CoC"
Qgil-WMF (talkcontribs)

I think the list for mentors looks long and somehow deterring. We might be driving away perfectly good mentors?

What really matters is that mentors are available and willing to help newcomers landing, finding new tasks, reviewing their code, and basically becoming Wikimedia developers, knowing that this takes time and patience... that pays off.

We could also spell not only the duties, also the benefits. What is there for me as a mentor? Becoming a successful mentor not only should bring occasional and long term contributors to their projects, it will also contribute to their own path as Wikimedia developers, senior free software developers. Featured Projects will be promoted in all our developer events, and their mentors will have more chances to receive scholarships to participate in these events. Involvement in GSoC and Outreachy also increase travel opportunities to events inside and outside the Wikimedia movement. And, well, if they ever think of requesting a grant, having a public track as a successful mentor of a Featured Project will definitely help.

Reply to "Too specific Mentors section?"
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