Drupal Mentors & Other ways to Help

As a Project Manager on the Drupal 8 (D8) Initiative, I see a lot of people getting involved, and they typically fall into one of two categories:

1) Ninjas
They want to help and are highly skilled in the ways of Drupal. They know how to avoid the untimely demise of baby kittens, can advise about important decisions, and most importantly, code solutions that are crucial to advancing projects. Because of all that, they are also in very high demand and many have limited time for non-paying gigs like contributing/volunteering for D8.

The benefits of attracting more Ninjas to work on Drupal projects is obvious. But I’m seeking them out with a different purpose in mind. More on that in a moment...

2) Noobs
We love the excitement and passion that comes with new contributors! They’re motivated and anxious to get their feet wet. They want to work on something that will make a big splash, but these fresh faces need some on-boarding help.

Recent studies posted (read more here: http://drupal.org/node/1162000), have pointed out that the excitement fades because it’s hard to know where to begin in the issue queues, and there are some specific protocols to helping out with big projects that aren’t common knowledge.

As a community, we’re always looking to grow our constituency, which makes new members valuable. But I think we also need to be aware that membership growth alone will not generate amazing functionality.

The problem:
We have new contributors who want to contribute and have time to work, but don’t yet know quite what to do. Then, we have experts who know what to do, but don’t time to do it.

The solution:
Take the people who have little time and a lot of information, and have them share with other people who need information and have lots of time. Let’s connect the ninjas and noobs through mentorship and our community will soon be comprised of even more high-quality, motivated contributors in many disciplines, ready to make Drupal even more awesome.

What might these mentors do?
- Help direct people to the issues that need their help
- Help people learn about general structure, and any special info about the initiatives
- Basic beginner do’s & don’ts
- Big project protocol overviews
- Create screencasts to help onboard people for the items above
- Hold office hours twice a month to help people with questions

I know some sessions at Drupalcon will be happening with just this goal in mind, but that’s another month away and it won’t be a regular occurrence. What if we had 10 people who were willing to give 1hr a month? Or a couple of people who could offer to do a monthly screencast about progress?

If you’re interested in being a mentor or helper, please email me and I’ll help organize your integration into the D8 team, we can work with different schedules to find the right fit.

We don’t only need mentors, here are some more ways you can help with Drupal 8:

- Reviews: Patches are coming in all the time. We need some extra eyes to review!

- Small tasks: Not every task will take 3 weeks or more to solve. We’re looking for people to take on smaller tasks as well.

- Communication: If you don’t have time to code, review, or mentor, perhaps you can help out by simply spreading the word! Tweet, Email, etc. the issues, IRC meetings and requests! Follow leads on twitter to get the information into the hands of people who can help!
(need to post the twitter info)

- Reply on d.o (drupal.org): Are initiative leaders asking questions? Give them some answers :) The community responses are immensely helpful in determining consensus. We need your participation in order to make decisions. Follow discussions to see follow-up comments and stay in touch!

- Medium to large-scale tasks: a right-hand man or woman is always valuable!

- Meeting notes: It’s always useful to have someone to compile meeting notes during the IRC chats the initiative leads hold bi-weekly

Getting involved with Drupal doesn’t mean you have to quit your job, or devote massive amounts of hours. Just let us know how much time you have and what you’d like to do, and we’ll find something that fits!

Resources to help you get started:

D8 leads:
- Gabor Hotsjy: Multi-lingual
- Gregg Dunlap: Configuration Management
- Larry Garfield: WSCCI, office hours every sunday 1-3pm EST in the IRC
- Jacine , office hours every sunday 1-4pm EST in the IRC

Upcoming meetings:
- HTML5: Tues Feb 22nd 4-5pm EST
- Design: Mon Feb 27th 2-3pm EST
- WSCCI: Tues Feb 28th 12-1pm EST
- MI: Wed Feb 29th 12-1pm EST

D8 Initiative sites:
- All initiatives hub: http://groups.drupal.org/drupal-initiatives
- Multilingual hub: http://t.co/V27evsV0
- WSCCI hub: http://www.garfieldtech.com/blog/web-services-initiative
- Configuration Mgmt hub: http://groups.drupal.org/node/155559
- HTML5 hub:http://drupal.org/community-initiatives/drupal-core/html5
- Design hub: http://drupal.org/node/1089096
- Mobile hub: http://palantir.net/blog/drupal-8-mobile-initiative

IRC Channels:
- http://drupal.org/irc
- General Contribution: #drupal-contribute
- D8 MI (multilingual initiative): #drupal-i18n
- D8 WSCCI (Web Services): #drupal-wscci
- D8 HTML5 (HTML5 and CSS3): #drupal-html5
- D8 Design (Design & Themes): #drupal-design
- D8 Usability: #drupal-usability


Shannon Vettes's picture
Shannon Vettes -

Thanks XJM for the office hours & handbook links!! Very useful :D

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