[openstack-dev] [docs][all][ptl] Contributor Portal and Better New Contributor On-boarding

Alexandra Settle a.settle at outlook.com
Mon Jun 26 09:45:02 UTC 2017

I think this is a good idea :) thanks Mike. We get a lot of people coming to the docs chan or ML asking for help/where to start and sometimes it’s difficult to point them in the right direction.

Just from experience working with contributor documentation, I’d avoid all screen shots if you can – updating them whenever the process changes (surprisingly often) is a lot of unnecessary technical debt.

The docs team put a significant amount of effort in a few releases back writing a pretty comprehensive Contributor Guide. For the purposes you describe below, I imagine a lot of the content here could be adapted. The process of setting up for code and docs is exactly the same: http://docs.openstack.org/contributor-guide/index.html

I also wonder if we could include a ‘what is openstack’ 101 for new contributors. I find that there is a *lot* of material out there, but it is often very hard to explain to people what each project does, how they all interact, why we install from different sources, why do we have official and unofficial projects etc. It doesn’t have to be seriously in-depth, but an overview that points people who are interested in the right directions. Often this will help people decide on what project they’d like to undertake.



From: Mike Perez <thingee at gmail.com>
Reply-To: "OpenStack Development Mailing List (not for usage questions)" <openstack-dev at lists.openstack.org>
Date: Friday, June 23, 2017 at 9:17 PM
To: OpenStack Development Mailing List <openstack-dev at lists.openstack.org>
Cc: Wes Wilson <wes at openstack.org>, "ildiko at openstack.org" <ildiko at openstack.org>, "knelson at openstack.org" <knelson at openstack.org>
Subject: [openstack-dev] [docs][all][ptl] Contributor Portal and Better New Contributor On-boarding

Hello all,

Every month we have people asking on IRC or the dev mailing list having interest in working on OpenStack, and sometimes they're given different answers from people, or worse, no answer at all.

Suggestion: lets work our efforts together to create some common documentation so that all teams in OpenStack can benefit.

First it’s important to note that we’re not just talking about code projects here. OpenStack contributions come in many forms such as running meet ups, identifying use cases (product working group), documentation, testing, etc. We want to make sure those potential contributors feel welcomed too!

What is common documentation? Things like setting up Git, the many accounts you need to setup to contribute (gerrit, launchpad, OpenStack foundation account). Not all teams will use some common documentation, but the point is one or more projects will use them. Having the common documentation worked on by various projects will better help prevent duplicated efforts, inconsistent documentation, and hopefully just more accurate information.

A team might use special tools to do their work. These can also be integrated in this idea as well.

Once we have common documentation we can have something like:
    1. Choose your own adventure: I want to contribute by code
    2. What service type are you interested in? (Database, Block storage, compute)
    3. Here’s step-by-step common documentation to setting up Git, IRC, Mailing Lists, Accounts, etc.
    4. A service type project might choose to also include additional documentation in that flow for special tools, etc.

Important things to note in this flow:
    * How do you want to contribute?
    * Here are **clear** names that identify the team. Not code names like Cloud Kitty, Cinder, etc.
    * The documentation should really aim to not be daunting:
    * Someone should be able to glance at it and feel like they can finish things in five minutes. Not be yet another tab left in their browser that they’ll eventually forget about
    * No wall of text!
    * Use screen shots
    * Avoid covering every issue you could hit along the way.

## Examples of More Simple Documentation
I worked on some documentation for the Upstream University preparation that has received excellent feedback meet close to these suggestions:
    * IRC [1]
    * Git [2]
    * Account Setup [3]

## 500 Feet Birds Eye view
There will be a Contributor landing page on the openstack.org<http://openstack.org> website. Existing contributors will find reference links to quickly jump to things. New contributors will find a banner at the top of the page to direct them to the choose your own adventure to contributing to OpenStack, with ordered documentation flow that reuses existing documentation when necessary. Picture also a progress bar somewhere to show how close you are to being ready to contribute to whatever team. Of course there are a lot of other fancy things we can come up with, but I think getting something up as an initial pass would be better than what we have today.

Here's an example of what the sections/chapters could look like:

- Code
        * Volumes (Cinder)
             * IRC
             * Git
             * Account Setup
             * Generating Configs
        * Compute (Nova)
             * IRC
             * Git
             * Account Setup
        * Something about hypervisors (matrix?)
-  Use Cases
* Products (Product working group)
    * Git
* Use Case format

There are some rough mock up ideas [4]. Probably Sphinx will be fine for this. Potentially we could use this content for conference lunch and learns, upstream university, and the on-boarding events at the Forum. What do you all think?

[1] - http://docs.openstack.org/upstream-training/irc.html
[2] - http://docs.openstack.org/upstream-training/git.html
[3] - http://docs.openstack.org/upstream-training/accounts.html
[4] - https://www.dropbox.com/s/o46xh1cp0sv0045/OpenStack%20contributor%20portal.pdf?dl=0


Mike Perez
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