Criteria to become a BUDDY

What is the Criteria/Eligibilty to become a Buddy?

Previously it was like, they need to finish All the Three Milestones in anyone of the Contribution Area.

Any suggestions ?


@iamjayakumars I thought if you were an active contributor? Do we have any past documentation on the Criteria/Eligibilty? Maybe we can hack on that and tweak it to our standards?


rtsayles, We didn’t document any criteria for Buddy, because that’s starting time and we allocated who are all contributing for SUMO long time.
But I promoted a Guy from newbie to Buddy because he is active and finished all the MileStones within a month.


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@iamjayakumars Make sense and that’s what I thought may was the case. I guess we need to collaborate the criteria on becoming a buddy, is that what you asking?


Instead of keeping a newbie as newbie for a long time, we can allocate some task to them. so that we can concentrate on something else to do productively in SUMO

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@iamjayakumars. Awesome! Well, I first think a buddy should be fully trained in their contribution area. (i.e. forum support). Also, the buddy would also need to have been contributing for a period of time before consideration? What do you think?

Hey guys! :smile:

I think that the criteria for one to become a Buddy depend on what we want a Buddy to do. If a Buddy is required to do training of the new contributors for the various contribution areas then a Buddy should have good knowledge of them. On the other hand if a Buddy is required to do just a simple tour then the criteria are different. :smile:

Yup @rtsayles
I agree with @CAKCy

OK guys, here’s what we have now (from Help new contributors - SUMO Buddy Program)

From “Contacting a Trainee”

  • Ask them which area(s) of SUMO they would like to contribute to. If they want to contribute to more than one area, ask them which one they would like to start with. If they are new to Mozilla, it’s recommended that they start with one area first, and then to another, once they are comfortable.


From “Working with your Trainee”

  • When working with a trainee, give them small task(s) to do (for example, answer 5 questions on the support forum). During that time, answer any questions they may have. When they have completed the task check out their work and give them some feedback. This could be something like letting them know what they did well on and what they could improve on. Repeat this until you feel that your trainee is comfortable with that area of SUMO. From there they can either ask for help in a different area or graduate.

If we go by the current documentation, then from the above I understand the following:

  1. Buddies have to have knowledge of ALL SuMo contribution areas.
  2. Buddies have to have knowledge of how to contribute in each and every contribution area.
  3. Buddies have to be in a position to assess the quality of the tasks performed by the trainee and provide feedback.

If this is the case, then IMHO, a simple graduation from the Buddy Program is not enough prerequisite for someone to be a Buddy.

The options:

  1. We relax the requirements for someone to become a Buddy and create Training Entry Areas in all SuMo Contribution areas (as per this ) or
  2. We require that Buddies have good knowledge of all the Contribution Areas prior to their being approved as Buddies. (I find this to be harder especially with the “heavy” contribution areas as KB and L10n.)
  3. We have Buddies with expertise in specific areas e.g. L10n Buddies, KB Buddies etc.
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  1. The knowledge does not have to be complete, but sufficient
  2. Like above, does not have to be complete, but should be sufficient
  3. I would add “…in the area of their expertise”

The reasoning: Buddies should not spread themselves thin over too many things at the same time. One or two areas of expertise are already a great start, and we hope to grow the Trainees into new Buddies, right?

  1. Would probably take too much time and effort to work it out
  2. Agreed, this is not really the easiest way for anyone to become a Buddy
  3. Sounds the best and I vote for that one - a Buddy can have more than one area of expertise, but it’s not necessary

I would say we hope to grow the Trainees into Contributors… and when they mature as Contributors, into Buddies. :smile:

Reference also to @madalina in this post stating that

…one important thing to keep in mind is that the goal of the Buddy program is contributor retention…

I do not believe in “results due to numbers”. I believe in “results due to quality”. So, I strongly believe that this, should be our target. The SuMo Management and Community have recognized the need for improvement of the current quality in the “direct contact” areas (Support Forum and AoA). A lot of work has already been put into place, in order to improve those areas. It is a matter of finishing this work and linking it to the Buddy Program, which cannot be disconnected from the rest of SuMo.

Please see:
[Your input needed] Quality training for forum contributors and
[New Article Discussion] AoA Training Guidelines and
AoA Contributors Manual Discussion (Index Thread)

It is wrong to start working on something and then forget about it and move on to the next project while trying to patch things up here and there. Sometimes some extra time and effort in the short run may have much better results in the long run.

I don’t agree with “light training” (the so called “milestones”) of trainees at the expense of our Users. I spend a lot of my time trying to improve the output of AoA and I think it would be wrong to let unqualified, general knowledge, Buddies spoil the quality of the product. The same should apply for the Support Forum if the proper training of Support Forum contributors is set up as well as the other areas. (The advantage of the “indirect areas” is that they have reviewers before the final product reaches the end user, which lowers the possibility of sub-par results reaching the general population).

Since this is the re-launching of the Buddy Program I believe that it is our chance to set up a high quality, scalable service from the very beginning, avoiding mistakes of the past. Launching it as a repeat of the past and then trying to fix problems is not wise.


@iamjayakumars is it enough for joining the Buddies group…???

ORGANIZATIONAL NOTE: @iamjayakumars, can you be the thread steward for this one, too?

Ya sure @vesper, that’s my pleaseure

So, Buddies should be…

  • at SUMO for at least 6 months - yes? no? more? less?
  • knowledgeable about each contribution area - means that the Buddy knows where to send a New Contributor and who to talk to about contribution area training - yes? no?
  • expert in at least one contribution area - yes? no?
  • communicative and friendly - that’s probably obvious…
  • anything else?

Being able to commit some time to the program would be a reasonable request, though we should make sure they know that it’s up to them how many buddies they want to take on.

New avatar, huh… Nice! :slight_smile:

I can think of two examples that make a time criterion not so reliable:

  • A person signing up on SuMo and not showing up for 6 months and then suddenly applying to become a Buddy.
  • I, personally, have joined SuMo almost 3 months ago. (it seems like forever :P)

Definitely yes! Based on my pilot experience: I’ve found myself faced with a million questions about almost all contribution areas. I had answers for many of those questions. I had to research further for some. Knowledge of the whereabouts of each Contribution Area is maybe the single most important criterion. Having “contacts”, especially in the “heavy” areas (KB, Localization, Development) is definitely a plus. If SuMo is going to work as one entity (and not a bunch of ill-connected areas - as it is now IMHO) then the leaders of each area should acknowledge and assist the Buddy Program and its representatives for a smoother flow.

Not necessarily. The model I have in my mind (the Buddies playing the role of the “tour guide” of new contributors) does not require expertise of a Buddy in any particular CA. It all depends of course, on SuMo Management’s thoughts and decisions on how they will deal with the “direct contact” CAs (Support Forum, AoA). If SuMo Management recognizes the need for quality and implementation of a training program of new contributors PRIOR to their beginning contribution, then the Buddy Program’s role of welcoming and introducing new contributors to SuMo is the missing puzzle piece.

Though it is obvious, who or how is this going to be assessed?

Before moving forward with the Buddy Program, I think that SuMo Management should clarify what are the plans they (you) have in mind for the various CAs, especially the “direct contact” ones. Treating each program (Support Forum, AoA, Buddy Program etc etc etc) as something not interconnected with the rest of SuMo is unwise.

The “title” of being a Buddy (or any other group membership on SuMo) should depend on one’s activity level. The current group leaders should have the option to exclude from the group ANY member who has been inactive for a reasonable amount of time (or ideally to mark them as inactive). It makes no sense to me to see in the Buddies group members who have done nothing for the program for months/years.

I need to say (for those who don’t know) that there are contributors who are collecting group memberships on their profiles (for their own reasons). They show up, contribute enough to be included in the group and then vanish. IMHO this should change.


I believe that 6 months is a good number.
They should definitely excel in 1 or more specific area and become a “steward” buddy for that area along with the moderators/reviewers of that section. They should be aware of how things work and where to send the “trainee” (not sure if the word if still used anymore).
One thing that’s important to me is community participation. It is important for the “wanna be buddy” to have at least participated in some type of discussion on the Contributor forums so they are aware of it and how it runs.

If approved to become a buddy, we should send an email outlining what to remember, re-read important docs. (in case is went in one eye and out the other), and make sure they are aware of who the main person of contact should be for them and, who the secondary contact for them is - just in case they need assistance.

Well I think it depends! As cakcy said

Totally agree with him!


I think every buddy should atleast expert in atleast one contribution area! I agree that a Buddy could play the role of “Tour Guide” but still he/she should be expert in atleast one contribution area!


I think feer56 ( Don’t feer :slight_smile: Just kidding) suggested a good point! +1 mate!

Hey Andrew, Deepanshu! :smile:

It’s so good to have more people participate in this discussion!

Do you mind sharing why you think a Buddy [should definitely excel in] / [should be an expert in] at least one CA? Is that as a general proof of one being an active contributor or is it more than that?

Combining it with @vesper’s question in the last Buddy Program meeting where he asked [quote]which area do we need more Buddies from?[/quote] …I understand that (at least in his mind) the expertise of a Buddy in a CA will help him/her with his/her duties as a Buddy.

To make my question clearer:

  • You are an expert in AoA.
  • You meet a New Contributor (NC) (who doesn’t know what he/she wants to do)
  • You discover that the NC is interested in Localization.
  • How is your expertise in AoA going to help you with this NC?
  • Is the next step in your mind to ask another Buddy (an expert in Localization) to take over? (If yes, wouldn’t that create a number of complications? (that I can analyze further if I need to)).

Though the question is clear in my mind, I may have failed to present it well. If you guys need me to re-phrase please let me know. :slight_smile: