Like any FOSS community project, Fedora relies heavily on volunteers. It is, therefore, no surprise that we’re always looking to increase our contributor base. There is always so much to be done. Of course, many teams work in harmony to keep Fedora ticking. Each team tends to have its own “on-boarding process” for newcomers, which if you’ve been around recently, you’ll have noticed CommOps has been working on improving one by one.

Where do we point newcomers now?

We already have some tools that help people find the right team and task to get started with., such as, does an excellent job of matching people to the right team based on their skills and interests. Another great place to quickly find something easy to work on is our easyfix ticket list. Last, but not least, the new Fedora Hubs project, which is still a work in progress, is going to make it even easier to see what’s going on in the community and where one can pitch in.

Talking to a human

In spite of all the tooling, newcomers seem to respond better to human interaction. Integration is much easier when you have people to speak to or query. Even while they’re still picking up on the tools and processes of various teams, they already feel part of the community. It gives them that bit of confidence needed to actively take part in discussions or volunteer to take up tasks.

With this in mind, some of us came together to set up the Fedora Join SIG. Our goal? Simply to set up certain channels where newcomers and contributors can mix. We’ve started small with the usual IRC and mailing list.

We need your help too!

Before we begin tweaking our public-facing resources to funnel newcomers into these channels, we want to make sure that we have enough contributors available here to receive queries. The purpose of this post is to ask you to please add these channels to the list that you already monitor. The more contributors from different parts of the project we have in the channel, the higher the chances are of newcomers finding interesting people to work with, interesting things to work on, all while making friends who mostly outlast the Fedora release.

So, please do hang out in our IRC channel and mailing list to help newcomers when you can.

Tip: Most IRC clients let you monitor a channel for keywords. For example, in irssi, the following command would monitor the channel for the word “design”:

/hilight -channels #fedora-join design

Image courtesy Remí Walle – originally posted to Unsplash as Untitled.