Suggested Roles - helping out regularly in small ways

Discussion in 'Suggestions' started by Cervator, Oct 4, 2016.

  1. Cervator

    Cervator Project Lead and Community Wizard Staff Member

    TL;DR: Need volunteers for less than an hour of committed work weekly.

    I started out expecting to be a Jack Of All Trades who would step in where needed for Terasology when needed, rather than specialize in any one area. Unfortunately it has turned out that's not a very good approach when there are just too many things that remain needed at all times without enough specialist volunteers to cover most of it :)

    Lots of stuff isn't getting done as I don't get around to it (in time). So I thought we could try something new. Once upon a time we tried to get some team leaders going, which I think we still need (although maybe more at a project level, like Light & Shadow, rather than "everything art"), but that can be a lot of responsibility.

    Instead (or additionally) I'd like to come up with some very small but regular tasks that we can get on-going commitments from volunteers for - but only expecting it to be an hour (or less) a week, either on any one day the volunteer finds time or in daily bits of a few minutes that add up to about an hour. Some may only be needed monthly, but could prep whatever a few times before finishing one round.

    Examples (I attempt all of these with varying degrees of activity and success, but combined with everything else it is just too much)
    • Daily: Checking and responding to comments on our social networks (Twitter, FB, G+ / YouTube, Reddit), maybe also briefly looking for Terasology mentions elsewhere
      • As a side thing we should be doing this for Destination Sol as well, but it more or less only has Steam (and to a small degree some Google stuffs). Ohai @Rulasmur
    • Daily: Look for and respond to bug reports. Not just issues getting submitted on GitHub - pastebin for instance has alarm words so we can get pastes containing "Terasology" emailed. Our Google Drive connected to the CrashReporter would be good to check too.
    • Daily: Check for any new forum threads, especially new contributors saying hello, make sure they get a warm welcome and a guiding hand :)
    • Daily: Check an outstanding PR, both in the main Terasology repo and others including DS, it is pretty easy for non-engine PRs to get forgotten (org-level PR view helps a lot). If a PR has stalled ping some people and get it going again. Or simply review it for merging if able, but that's not a requirement - a simple comment to indicate somebody saw it and will try to get a relevant reviewer to check it soon would be great.
    • Daily/Weekly: Reach out to a current or former contributor that we haven't heard from in a little while (especially new contributors - they often slip through the cracks not knowing who/how to ask)
      • This role could easily "stack" - we could use many people taking on this task. I'd consider this one of the most important roles.
    • Weekly: Check on our web infrastructure for error logs, space issues, etc. We have server reports coming from New Relic and I occasionally notice error warnings in the forum, but rarely find time to investigate.
      • Alternatively if everything is quiet consider upgrading a single addon or finding a useful new one for the forum, Jenkins, etc. Just one small thing will add up over time
    • Weekly: Check the forum for a "lost" thread that stalled in the past despite having something outstanding. Find a way to either wake up the thread again or mark it as archived if no longer relevant
    • Weekly: Spot check some documentation, likely GitHub wikis. We don't get notifications (well, email) about wiki edits so they can be changed without anybody noticing. So far I haven't seen any spam, but it could just be for checking typos or doing some simple formatting (most our docs are really dry - need to better present text and maybe add occasional illustrations / Gooey-icons)
    • Weekly: Spot check an older issue on GitHub. Is it still relevant? Would it be better as a backlog item in the forum (not mandatory, just an idea)? Close it and move it there if so. We also have a poor neglected Trello backlog board that could hold a lot of this kind of stuff.
    • Weekly: Find some code style violations or broken unit tests somewhere in active but quiet code (could check Jenkins) - then fix! Or maybe activate a new and small rule for Checkstyle we can tackle over time
    • Weekly/Monthly: Prepare a small showcase to post in the forum and/or social networks. Like a small gallery or participating in Screenshot Saturday one week (not every week). Or maybe a small video showcase.
    • Weekly/Monthly: Reach out to some existing developers/modders elsewhere, like a Minecraft or Minetest mod, or even an open source initiative / organization somewhere. Would they be interested in seeing their content in Terasology or helping out otherwise? In some cases maybe we could run a shared event of some sort. We might even find other GSOC-like programs (like Google Code-In)
      • Speaking of: we totally need a GSOC organizer for retrospectives and prep for next year
    • Weekly/Monthly: Slap a Gooey on some sort of merchandise in an online store of some sort that we don't have yet. Instant swag! We really could use some stuff like this, even just stickers, would be great to invest in from time to time like sending GSOC students stuff. Hint hint wink wink @SuperSnark! ;)
    I'd like to track the tasks somehow to make sure they're getting attention, so if not then I can step in and do my thing and we can check on the volunteer and find more if needed. Habatica could work - "parties" there share group todos and it is a cool overall tool. Alternatively a Trello board with a repeater powerup could work (I'm still unhappy with them after recent pricing changes, however). Need comments in either case so maybe sticking with Trello is better. This part is important or it'll just be another wishful initiative.

    Some need greater access/diplomacy skill than others (like server admin stuff or speaking on behalf of the project) and may be more picky about candidates, but most are pretty open.

    Key part: it would be an obligation (which is a step up from "will try to check sometime") but only take an hour or less a week, routinely. Most long-time contributors can probably step up to that, and it would really help :)

    Imagine if we got one person per task (13) + 3 extra on poking contributors. That's still just an hour per person, adding 16 hours of focused effort a week - yet would be more than a quarter of my non-sleep/work time per week, yikes!
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2016
  2. AvaLanCS

    AvaLanCS Member

    Hi Cervator,

    I'd happily look at Destination Sol issues and pull requests. Is the Trello backlog for DS still in use?

    Also I have a little experience with Jenkins, and I would be interested in learning more about the build process.
  3. Cervator

    Cervator Project Lead and Community Wizard Staff Member

    Great! That Trello backlog is still live, but not particularly active since it isn't being worked by anybody. Thus the need for more volunteers, even if that's taking just an hour a week checking the forum / Steam for ideas and updating the backlog :)

    As for Jenkins it would probably be best to discuss on Slack sometime in the #logistics channel along with others that are interested. Can I send you an invite to your forum email?
  4. AvaLanCS

    AvaLanCS Member

    Yes please!
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Skaldarnar

    Skaldarnar Badges badges badges badges mushroom mushroom! Staff Member

    @Cervator I've replied on Slack regarding the different roles. I'm a bit hesitant to pick up a single role but would like to work on different parts - jack of all trades on a (mostly) daily base...
  6. MandarJ

    MandarJ New Member

    Great idea. I would love to help with PRs and the expansion of SimpleFarming and Genome (maybe the integration of Genome with SimpleFarming).
  7. mdj117

    mdj117 New Member

    Would love to get to respond to the Terasology community on Social media and to help them on Github. Would finally get to do something now that GCI is over. Thanks Cervator!
  8. jellysnake

    jellysnake New Member

    I'm happy to do whatever tasks need doing. Bug reports and forum checking maybe? Unless someone else would like to do them of course
  9. MandarJ

    MandarJ New Member

    I think we could also benefit from a common "TODO" list which all of us can access. A method to "claim" a task from there would also be nice (claim = indicate that you are working on it, in order to avoid duplicates). Something like Hitask maybe?
  10. smsunarto

    smsunarto Federal Gooey of Investigation

    I think we already have something similar to that. We use Trello afaik.

    CC: @Cervator

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