In Ten simple rules for helping newcomers become contributors to open projects, the authors provide practical steps to help newcomers start with and remain engaged with a software project.
|Ten simple rules for helping newcomers become contributors to open projects
|Sholler D, Steinmacher I, Ford D, Averick M, Hoye M, Wilson G
|Year 2019, PLOS Computational Biology, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1007296
A key aspect to sustainability is to build a community; not just users of the software but also advocates, mentors, developers, maintainers and even project leaders. The article is about a 15 minute read with many concrete suggestions and practices to start building your community.
An interesting example from the article encourages projects to seek to develop various forms of legitimate peripheral participation for newcomers. That is, simpler, lower risk tasks that nonetheless contribute to and further the goals of the overall project. Another interesting tip is to tag issues with a recognizable label to indicate they are good for newcomers and also to ensure veteran team members leave such issues alone (e.g., don't go fixing them :smile:).