[openstack-dev] Encouraging first-time contributors through bug tags/reviews

Shamail Tahir itzshamail at gmail.com
Wed Nov 25 14:15:54 UTC 2015

Hi everyone,

Andrew Mitry recently shared a medium post[1] by Kent C. Dobbs which
discusses how one open-source project is encouraging contributions by new
open-source contributors through a combination of a special tag (which is
associated with work that is needed but can only be completed by someone
who is a first-time contributor) and helpful comments in the review phase
to ensure the contribution(s) eventually get merged.

While reading the article, I immediately thought about our
low-hanging-fruit bug tag which is used for a very similar purpose in "bug
fixing" section of  the "how to contribute" page[2].  The low-hanging-fruit
tag is used to identify items that are generally suitable for first-time or
beginner contributors but, in reality, anyone can pick them up.

I wanted to propose a new tag (or even changing the, existing, low-hanging
fruit tag) that would identify items that we are reserving for first-time
OpenStack contributors (e.g. a patch-set for the item submitted by someone
who is not a first time contributor would be rejected)... The same article
that Andrew shared mentions using an "up-for-grabs" tag which also
populates the items at up-for-grabs[3] (a site where people looking to
start working on open-source projects see entry-level items from multiple
projects).  If we move forward with an exclusive tag for first-timers then
it would be nice if we could use the up-for-grabs tag so that OpenStack
also shows up on the list too.  Please let me know if this change should be
proposed elsewhere, the tags are maintained in launchpad and the wiki I
found related to bug tags[4] didn't indicate a procedure for submitting a
change proposal.

Tyler Britten also suggested maybe even having a pool of reviewers who
could monitor items being worked on that fall in this "first-timer"
category who could further help the new contributors by helpful review
comments and answering questions if the contributors get stuck on some part
of the process.  Could this be the same people who helped make the upstream
training[5] successful?  I look forward to thoughts on this matter.

[1] https://medium.com/@kentcdodds/first-timers-only-78281ea47455#.707dal290
[2] https://wiki.openstack.org/wiki/How_To_Contribute#Bug_fixing
[3] http://up-for-grabs.net/
[4] https://wiki.openstack.org/wiki/Bug_Tags
[5] http://docs.openstack.org/upstream-training/

Shamail Tahir
t: @ShamailXD
tz: Eastern Time
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