This task belonged to a goal committed for Developer-Advocacy (Oct-Dec 2017).
Completion of a first pass to our documentation for new developers in MediaWiki.org, structuring pages, updating and cleaning information. Test the refreshed docs with Outreachy Round 15 and Google Code-in 2017 participants, and review accordingly.
We have a good bunch of pages and resources [partially] targetting [new] developers:
- How to contribute ("learn how you can contribute to MediaWiki and the free culture community")
- How to become a MediaWiki hacker ("an introductory guide to developing MediaWiki"; "help developers learn the basic skills needed to contribute to MediaWiki development")
- Developer hub ("a high-level overview of MediaWiki development, including links to the key documents, resources and tools available to MediaWiki developers. It is written for skilled LAMP developers who have experience using MediaWiki.")
- Good first bugs ("a list of little bugs which are suited for new contributors. These are a good way to start getting familiar with the MediaWiki code base.")
- New Developers; cf. T165920
- Outreach programs with subpages and Google_Summer_of_Code, Outreachy, Google_Code-in (see dedicated task T167065)
Starter kit (unclear purpose)
- Possible-Tech-Projects (cf. T198101)
- Outreach-Programs-Projects (cf. T198101)
- Project:New contributors (an outdated planning page for ourselves)
Problems (not a complete list, feel free to add):
- Different established community members send potential new contributors to different pages due to unclear scope differentiation.
- Pages are text deserts with gazillions of links, overwhelming anyone who just wants to get stuff done.
- Some concepts work better/worse than others (e.g. having mentors via Featured Projects vs 'You're pretty much on your own' via Annoying Little Bugs) and we don't communicate these different concepts to potential new contributors to allow judging themselves ("Do I need more handholding or do I prefer to find my way on my own?")
Allow potential new contributors to succeed more often by
- having pages which offer a clear contribution path forward and guide the new contributor
- having pages with a clearer, communicated scope
- communicating that pages which are link collections are not "guides" or "tutorials" or such (but maybe "resource hubs" or whatever)
- potentially reducing the number of pages targeting similar audiences
- making people feel responsible to garden some pages, also against well-meant attempts to add more and more content / links