Dear Participation Team,
For past few days it is really hard to understand what is going in FSA program, not able to answer when a fellow new contributors coming and asking how can we get started after joining FSA program.
I started my contribution as FSA contributor have written some articles in MDN, spent sometimes in AOA, and have developing apps, and become Reps then joined FSA E-board as VP of Tech (till Aug 2015).
Seriously when I started then direction of FSA was to help students learn how to improve their professional skills and also contribute to open source at the same time. Even before Workweek in December we had “App of the month” where atleast 10 new apps we got, students learned something technical. I understand clearly it is not the only way for students to contribute there are lot.
I surely remember in April-May 2015, I had discussed the plan to introduce other contribution areas like QA, MDN, SUMO similar to “App of the Month”, so we get really a good number of student contributors in these areas and they also love to contribute as they learn Industry standard. But may be due to some limitation till now it is not implemented, I am sure it is difficult to bring a good architecture to bring these and maintain it for long time so students love contributing continuously.
When a FSA comes and talks about how to contribute to Privacy, the only thing I was saying is, understand about it then teach people regarding this, then you can also try creating add-ons for browsers which can stop trackers script (like Google analytics script). For the past 1 year only very less students come and ask regarding Privacy, the main reason is because they want to get the digital badge, but before asking this question they asked me how can they start contribute to Code or Finding bugs.
Previously some contributors asked about thimble and Webmaker. But I am sure their First question is not how to participate in Campus Campaign program or contribute to thimble or Webmaker. The first Question is different.
I help contributors around Tamilnadu(India). I encourage people to contribute to more functional areas like Coding,testing, MDN and so on where they are interested. But Sometimes we people find difficult to know all areas and help, but I have seen atleast 5-10 contributors who are helping other people to get started in different areas.
My suggestion is since I came as FSA is to concentrate more on the different functional areas ( Creating Web-extensions (which we have to concentrate very highly), concentrating on fixing patches, Contributing to Testing (QA), SUMO, MDN,design, Social Media and so on). I am not saying to stop about advocacy or any other things. But many students in India at least have faith that when they become FSA they will learn to contribute to open source not just teaching/evangelising . But they in long time start teaching what they learned because of their passion.
There were many things involved like budgets and swags, at beginning people start to get those, but in 6 months maximum they understand those are not very important. I have seen many people contributed without even getting single swag. All they want is to learn and contribute on their passion. Many teams helps contributors by writing a blog post about their contribution, I remember QA (Contributor Spotlight), AMMO (Friends of Mozilla) and so on. These blog posts are light their biggest gift and motivation to contribute.
PS:- I am brining this discussion here to understand well what are the plans for helping FSA’s in future and help them learn and contribute fruitfully to community.