LibreOffice mentoring

Hi there!

Most of you are pretty long involved in the LibreOffice project (longer than 1.5 years), including me. And a lot of people were at the OpenOffice.org project a long time before anyone was thinking about LibreOffice, so it won’t be that easy to understand, what today’s blog post is about…

In fact it is about the difficulty to get started at the LibreOffice project, which is a quite bad thing, because we need supporters and contributors of any kind. In the past, the decade of OpenOffice.org, one thing what we missed were the developers (I was not involved at that time, but I heard it several times and I think it is true…). Now, at the LibreOffice project we have easyhacks (At least I assume this, because of THIS Google search). Loads of things have been done about that. Now, I would really want to show you 2 month old numbers from Italo Vignoli’s blog. On March the 15th, there were ~360 people contributing to LibreOffice and ~21 at Apache OpenOffice.

Now I want to ask you WHY? Why do we have that many developers, loads of them new ones? The picture tells you why: It is because we have easyhacks and people, who mentor the more or less skilled developers. We give them a warm welcome and they stay. (Query of all easyhacks)

Graphical report of easyhack query. Click me to watch the pic full-size!

So, now start personally:

When I started, somewhere at the end of September, LibreOffice seemed to be like a small family, everyone helping each other. In the same way as the developer I got a warm welcome and now I am part of the inner circle of the family, but the newcomers nowadays are somehow the hated son-in-law… We are well-practiced, and to be honest this fact is very great, but we should, if possible, open this inner ring a bit and give every help we can give to the new ones. What I recommend is, that we should have some mentors spread across the LibreOffice project, and help the beginners to start off.

To cut it short (and in the same way for rambling on):

  • The LibreOffice project needs mentors
  • The possibility of getting help should be made public
    • For example:
    • When subscribing to a mailinglist or ANY other service offered by LibreOffice  – I am thinking of
      • Every single mailinglist (If possible also the libreoffice-qa@lists.freedesktop.org list, although it is not “ours”
      • Every single online service (Like the Wiki, ask.libreoffice, and all the other I do not mention now…
  • There should be some wiki pages ( Like http://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Mentors/ [don’t exist now])
  • It would be great to have many people for this (quite easy) job
  • It is very important to have different kinds of communication
    • E-Mail
    • Skype
    • Other IM
    • IRC
    • Social Networks
      • G+
      • Facebook
      • Twitter
      • other
    • Publish a steady-updated list of mentors (or a link to it [thinking of twitter])
  • Engaging skilled people to do some mentoring
  • …  Many ideas to come

I will stop now, it is quite late and I am up for about 14 hours. I really would like to see YOUR feedback + ideas +opinion on this very thing.

4 thoughts on “LibreOffice mentoring”

  1. A very first step might be to leave some notes on https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/QA-FAQ concerning QA-members who are willing more than others to help within Bugzilla. An other Idea I had for the German community is a weekly Video conference (ooVoo) to discuss any QA related problems (mostly: hard nuts bugs) in German language and some more “cozy” atmosphere (we should call in Nino Novak, IMHO he also plans some German community Bug Hunting activities.

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