> "search[ing] for talent and passion" is a great goal, but just writing
> "The key to my goal is communication" isn't enough for me. So, how will
> you do?
I have a couple of ideas, including - but not limited to:
* As mentioned in a different thread, I'd love to get a "Review &
Mentor" team up and running. This would make it smoother to start
contributing to Debian, and with a few people working together to
mentor new contributors, it'd be easier to spot the ones we can
recruit for the tasks that need more manpower.
It would also make it less of a burden to find sponsors, and not
having to wait weeks or months certainly helps keeping one's passion
The hows are many and diverse: on one hand, we can make the process
smoother even without a review & mentor team, see the DebExpo GSoC
project, or recent mails on -mentors@. On the other hand, when the
software and infrastructure supports it, the task of mentoring &
sponsoring can be split up more easily, which would help forming a
The hardest part is finding enough people for the team, once the
infrastructure is in place. I have a few vague ideas how I'd approach
the problem, but no bullet-point plan yet.
* Local teams and user groups are another way to attract interested
people (somewhere on this list, this was already mentioned, probably
by Zack), and they have other uses aswell.
Having local teams all around the globe is very useful for organising
events, be that bug squashing parties, or training or demo sessions
touching various areas of Debian (typically those that'd need some
more contributors; as a way to spark interest).
As part of this, encouraging the origanisation of local hacklabs
where there is demand for it (or sparking demand for it!) is another
tool in the talent & passion fishing repertoire.
As for the hows: convincing people this is a good idea, finding
willing ones to take the lead, and find sponsors to host the BSPs and
hacklabs. There are numerous people within the project that have
experience with some (or even all) of the above, I plan to rely on
their input and experience, and go from there, see how we could help
them, and how we could lure more people into being interested.
* Knowing what kind of different things attract people to Debian is
another piece of information we could work with (to strengthen those
parts that already work, and pick up those, that would be desirable,
but are lacking at the moment).
To help with this, I'd approach the NM front - the AMs and new
members in particular -, collect information about what the AMs see
in prospective members, the initial experience of new members, what
prompted them to apply, and so on.
Thankfully, a lot of this is already available via the AM reports,
and perhaps I'm mistaken, but I do not think we're doing much with
the information gained from these.
What I'm especially curious about, is what strugges people have, what
obstacles they had to overcome to become contributors. These things
are yet another area where we could make ourselves more accessible.
* Periodic news aimed at prospective contributors, with a little more
verbose introduction to the particular piece the news is about, a
little more emphasis on attracting new people would be another tool.
Why? Because while reading technical news is interesting, in my
experience, that rarely sparks interest. A little bit of
non-technical, but still relevant content can go a long way.
At the same time, we must not abandon the technical news, either,
because those are also tremendously useful for other parts of the
project: to those who are already involved.
* There have been attempts at introducing a "gift" usertag, to mark
easy to solve issues, something a new contributor could do in a short
time, and both help Debian, and get a bit more familiar with it, too.
I'd like to expand on this idea, too, as it would help with Google
Code-In organisation aswell, and could provide a steady stream of
easy hacks to work on. I believe such easy hacks can be great
introductions, as they lead to a successful contribution pretty fast.
* I plan to attend conferences and events myself, but I can't be
everywhere, and I'm not the best speaker, either. So I plan to rely
on the press & publicity teams to continue their fruitful work, and
try to support those who speak on behalf of Debian.
Speaking at major events is important, and I hope that we can support
and encourage those with the most skill and experience to attend and
speak on every suitable occassion.
All of the above, though, can only happen if the rest of the project
shares at least some of my goals. I can't do it alone, nor do I wish
to. I believe we have the tools to improve our communication, and our
accessability, we just need to use them. I wish to play with those
tools, perhaps we can build something even better than what I had in
mind - if we all throw our heads together.