Get more contributors! Lessons from the Drupal Ladder.

*
Accepted Session
Short Form
Beginner
Scheduled: Tuesday, June 24, 2014 from 1:30 – 2:15pm in B204

Excerpt

A small contributor pool is a recipe for burnout and can harm or hold back your project. Learn how offering a structured approach for step-by-step skill-building can combat imposter syndrome and build community, thereby increasing the number and diversity of your project's contributors.

Description

A small contributor pool is a recipe for burnout and can harm or hold back your project. Learn how offering a structured approach for step-by-step skill-building can combat imposter syndrome and build community, thereby increasing the number and diversity of your project’s contributors.

Open source cultures and practices can inadvertently privilege people who feel more comfortable diving in and trying something. By providing an approach geared toward people who prefer a reflective, sequential learning style, you can support a more diverse group of people in contributing to your project in meaningful ways. Not only that, but by working on tasks and making achievements that lead to greater status, those participants can “level up” in your project’s community.

At the beginning of 2013, I started organizing skill-building meetups in New York as a Drupal developer who wanted to learn more and start contributing to core myself. I used the Drupal Ladder, an initiative that uses a structured sequential approach to learning and contributing to get one percent of the Drupal community contributing to the Drupal project.

And guess what? The Ladder proved helpful in encouraging new contributors.

  • A diverse group of about two dozen people attended meetups over the course of the year.
  • Some landed their first professional Drupal jobs as a result.
  • All made contributions to the Drupal project for the first time.
  • Many said the step-by-step approach and the in-person meetings helped them feel more confident that they had something to contribute.

See how this model — structured sequential skill building with online or in-person meetups — can help your project and your community!

  • Learn tips for motivating new contributors,
  • Share approaches to organizing meetups and code sprints,
  • Discuss challenges, and
  • Explore the ladder model — and its GPL-licensed materials — as a way that your open source project can build community, combat imposter syndrome and encourage new contributors.

Tags

skill building, community building, community organizing, diversity, curriculum, imposter syndrome, meetups, event organizing, Drupal

Speaking experience

I've led Drupal Ladder skill-building sessions and presented at a variety of conferences on the subjects of remote collaboration strategies, Git (http://www.slideshare.net/fureigh/git-in-gear-how-to-track-changes-travel-back-in-time-and-code-nicely-with-others-drupalcamp-nyc-10), online-to-offline engagement, streamlining the website redesign process for nonprofits (http://www.slideshare.net/fureigh/organizing-20-how-to-plan-your-website-redesign), bridging the digital divide, community-generated health resource guides by and for transgender people, and political activism through music. And having toured internationally as part of a rock band, including a healthy dose of Q&A sessions at colleges, I'm reasonably comfortable in front of a crowd. This will be my first time giving this talk.

Speaker