Before we switched off korma.wmflabs.org in Feb 2017, its code_contrib_new_gone.html page listed
- People with first submission in last three months
- Contributors that have not contributed in the last 6 months
Traditionally information on "newbies" potentially in need of help has been available at https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Gerrit/Reports/Open_changesets_by_newbie_owner
I irregularly checked the first list and ping on patches without review, but
- we do not use the available information in a process incorporated to our routines.
- except for anecdotes, we do not know or understand why people move on.
We should think about
- plan a process that allows more regular checking to get the attention of reviewers for patches by newcomers
- potentially congratulate the contributor after merging the first patch and provide motivation and hints to try and find a second task to work on,
- ask ourselves if we really want to wait six months for users leaving to get aware of them or whether to shorten that time frame,
- ask users who leave / have left to give us quick feedback and help improving, potentially via Surveys.
To sort out:
- Sample selection? Contact everybody, or if not, how to select the sample?
- Legal issues: Data use; where and how to publish results (anonymously?)
- Questions and format (quantitative, qualitative)?
- exploratory := no propositions, open questions, hypothesis building = problem not clearly defined
- descriptive := survey, who, what, where, how many, how much.
- explanatory := causal=experiment; case study=how, why
Context: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Technical_Collaboration/Strategy mentions "offering a learning environment and growth path to technical contributors".
T73357: Add a welcome bot to Gerrit for first time contributors
T64324: Visually indicate when a Phabricator user is new (Welcome culture)
T155676: Make it easier for newcomers to contribute to the MediaWiki project