What is “Top Badgers”?

“Top Badgers” is a special series on the Fedora Community Blog for 2015. In this series, we interviewed some of the top badge earners of 2015 in the Fedora Project. Not familiar with Fedora badges? No worries, you can read more about them on the Badges website.

This article features Robbie Harwood (rharwood), who clocked in at the #5 spot of badges earned in 2015, with an astonishing 46 badges! As of the writing of this article, Robbie is the #216 all-time badge earner in Fedora.

“You earned a lot of badges this year. For you, what was the most memorable badge and why?”

Most memorable for me are the ones that I didn’t even realize were badges and received by accident. For example, Koji build failures (“What goes up…“), though those are arguably also memorable for a different reason! I really like all the badges with neat artwork (especially the badgers / pandas theming) or a humorous take the activity that triggered them (like Corporate Drone, or anything involving zombies).

“Of the badges you earned this year, which one did you think was easiest? Hardest?”

Hardest was probably getting a speaker badge for this year’s FLOCK, though it was definitely rewarding (and getting the party badge was definitely fun).

Strictly speaking, I think the easiest was probably when I forgot my password due to not logging in for a while; I changed my password, logged in, and got “Don’t Call It a Comeback“.

Account creation is also a candidate for easiest (though of course not usefully so) because there are about seven badges that are associated with filling out various fields of FAS.

“What is your advice to either new or recent contributors who want to earn more badges? Any tips to success?”

As a relative newcomer to Fedora, I’ve been using the badge list as sort of a “help wanted” listing. Some projects mark “low-hanging fruit” issues, but that works less well for ongoing processes (like testing updates on Bodhi). On the other hand, badges work great for this because they provide incentive both to get started and then to keep going. The badges incentivize both breadth – so one gets exposed to a great many different parts of the project – but also depth, which encourages specialization and skill development.

There are a lot of badges around strict package maintenance as one would expect from a distro, but there are a lot of badges around testing as well. It’s really easy to get started testing (just enable updates-testing on your virtual machines and then make sure that packages that you use continue to work), and it’s something that the current model relies heavily on; packages spend quite a long time in Bodhi if no one tests them.