[tc] The future of the "Help most needed" list

Ghanshyam Mann gmann at ghanshyammann.com
Mon Feb 4 08:31:46 UTC 2019

 ---- On Thu, 31 Jan 2019 19:45:25 +0900 Thierry Carrez <thierry at openstack.org> wrote ---- 
 > Hi everyone, 
 > The "Help most needed" list[1] was created by the Technical Committee to  
 > clearly describe areas of the OpenStack open source project which were  
 > in the most need of urgent help. This was done partly to facilitate  
 > communications with corporate sponsors and engineering managers, and be  
 > able to point them to an official statement of need from "the project". 
 > [1] https://governance.openstack.org/tc/reference/help-most-needed.html 
 > This list encounters two issues. First it's hard to limit entries: a lot  
 > of projects teams, SIGs and other forms of working groups could use  
 > extra help. But more importantly, this list has had a very limited  
 > impact -- new contributors did not exactly magically show up in the  
 > areas we designated as in most need of help. 
 > When we raised that topic (again) at a Board+TC meeting, a suggestion  
 > was made that we should turn the list more into a "job description"  
 > style that would make it more palatable to the corporate world. I fear  
 > that would not really solve the underlying issue (which is that at our  
 > stage of the hype curve, no organization really has spare contributors  
 > to throw at random hard problems). 
 > So I wonder if we should not reframe the list and make it less "this  
 > team needs help" and more "I offer peer-mentoring in this team". A list  
 > of contributor internships offers, rather than a call for corporate help  
 > in the dark. I feel like that would be more of a win-win offer, and more  
 > likely to appeal to students, or OpenStack users trying to contribute back. 
 > Proper 1:1 mentoring takes a lot of time, and I'm not underestimating  
 > that. Only people that are ready to dedicate mentoring time should show  
 > up on this new "list"... which is why it should really list identified  
 > individuals rather than anonymous teams. It should also probably be  
 > one-off offers -- once taken, the offer should probably go off the list. 
 > Thoughts on that? Do you think reframing help-needed as  
 > mentoring-offered could help? Do you have alternate suggestions? 

Reframing to "mentoring-offered " is a nice idea which is something can give
the best result if there will be. Being mentor few times or as FC SIG member,
I agree that it is very hard to get new contributors, especially for the long term.
Many times, they disappear after few weeks. Having a peer mentor can attract
few contributors if they technically hesitate to start working on that.

Along with that we need this list as a live list and should be reiterated every cycle
with the latest items, priority, peer-mentors mapping. For example, if any team adding any item
as help-wanted do they provide peer-mentor or we ask the volunteer for peer-mentorship
and based on that priority should go. 

If I recall it correctly from  Board+TC meeting, TC is looking for a new home for this list ?
Or we continue to maintain this in TC itself which should not be much effort I feel. 
One of the TC members can volunteer on this and keep it up to date every cycle by organizing
a forum sessions discussion etc. Further, we ask other groups like Outreachy,  FC SIG, OUI
to publishing this list every time they get chance to interact with new contributors. 


 > --  
 > Thierry Carrez (ttx) 

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