DISCUSS: Keeping track of the Buddy:New Contributor relationship

This is the thread for discussing the goals and ways of documenting Newbie progress.

Main post: https://discourse.mozilla-community.org/t/discuss-matching-buddies-and-newbies/727/11


1 spreadsheet, 4 tabs

  • AoA
  • L10n
  • Forums
  • KB

Each tab has the following columns

  1. Newbie name
  2. Newbie profile URL
  3. Newbie joining date
  4. Newbie goals (what they want to do in SUMO)
  5. Newbie skills / qualifications
  6. Buddy taking care of Newbie
  7. Milestone 1 date (checked against column 3)
  8. Milestone 1 Buddy notes/actions
  9. Milestone 2 date (checked against column 3)
  10. Milestone 2 Buddy notes/actions
  11. Milestone 3 date (checked against column 3)
  12. Milestone 3 Buddy notes/actions

I think it should be:

  • simple
  • accessible for everyone
  • clearly indicating the progress / lack of it and the next actions

How about a spreadsheet, where all Newbies are tracked chronologically (regardless of their Buddies, we’ll have a separate column for that), and with content rules that highlight the passing of time since they joined SUMO, so that Buddies know which milestone they should be covering now?

Maybe the spreadsheet should have separate tabs for each area: AoA, L10n, Forums, KB?

So, my proposal:

  • 1 spreadsheet, 4 tabs: AoA / L10n / Forums / KB
  • Each tab has the following columns:
  1. Newbie name
  2. Newbie profile URL
  3. Newbie joining date
  4. Buddy taking care of Newbie
  5. Milestone 1 date (checked against column 3)
  6. Milestone 1 Buddy notes/actions
  7. Milestone 2 date (checked against column 3)
  8. Milestone 2 Buddy notes/actions
  9. Milestone 3 date (checked against column 3)
  10. Milestone 3 Buddy notes/actions

I hope you have better ideas or can make my idea better :slight_smile:

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I know it should be as simple as possible but a suggestion for a couple of additional columns:

  1. What the Newbie wants to do (if they know already)
  2. What are the qualifications/characteristics of the Newbie? (if they are from Mars then they SHOULD work for L10n!!!)

And I’m not sure about the “accessible for everyone” part. Does “everyone” include the Newbies themselves? If yes, how do we (I have this problem personally) tell a Newbie, they don’t have what it takes to contribute in that specific area?

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Very good points, I’ll add them to the summary in the top post once we have more people with feedback.

That’s an interesting question that I didn’t think about when I wrote that originally. I meant the tracker should be an easy-to-use tool that doesn’t consume a lot of bandwidth/RAM when used, because we don’t need a monster like that.

To comment on your question - I think we should be telling Newbies openly why we think they’re going to make a bigger difference in X instead of Y. If they really want to do Y, they should get good instructions how to do the right thing (e.g. Community Guidelines for Forums; l10n documentation for L10n, etc.) and someone to work with them directly in that area, preferably in their language, to evaluate their progress and point out the mistakes (to help them learn).

The above sounds perhaps a bit too idealistic, but maybe there’s a slimmed down version of it that could work for everyone.

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I don’t think it’s idealistic at all. We have to agree that we want SUMO to perform well! (Preaching to the choir!) If we all agree with this, then we should be ready to demand more from ourselves (as trainers) and our contributors (as trainees). Linking this to the other thread: we should try our best to limit poor quality contribution. Is this an overkill?

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Excellent proposal @vesper!

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I don’t think it’s overkill - I just want everyone to be OK with what we agree on and make sure buddying up does not turn into a full-time job for anyone.

Does anyone else have other ideas or comments about the way to track progress? If not, maybe I can put the spreadsheet together this week and bring it to the Friday meetup?

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A first, very rough and basic draft: https://docs.google.com/a/mozilla.com/spreadsheets/d/1DUpcTR6RMdSiJ6Q0NLmnx8emtt_imqMwh84Wjk6h_0o/edit#gid=1024785344


@vesper, I like it! It seems very basic and not hard to manage. Like you mention, it shouldn’t be a full time responsibility but simple.

Used it already! (though under protest) :stuck_out_tongue:

I added a column (Notes) on all 4 sheets. I hope it’s OK.

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It is totally OK to edit and adapt the sheet as much as you need/want :wink:

ORGANIZATIONAL NOTE: Since we all decided that CAKCy and I are going to work on a ranking system, I nominate the two of us as stewards for this thread.

So, we have https://github.com/ygjb/kitherder/blob/master/docs/help as reference for the kitherder tool.

Can everyone take a look at the system notes and voice any concerns they would have using kitherder?

Post your questions/concerns here, of course :slight_smile: @Akshay will be our contact with the kitherder folks, once we have a set of questions.

1 Like

Everything here checks out to be okay! :smiley:

After the recent discussions, allow me to revise this:

  • We probably won’t need a tool of this level (project management) for tracking the Buddy - NC relationship.
    • That relationship will either be very temporary (welcoming to the community and showing around)…
    • OR will lead to project work in one of the CA, which may require tracking (but that depends on the CA - for example, in AoA kitherder will be rather useless (no “projects” there); I do plan to talk to the L10n leads about using it).
  • This thread can be safely scrapped (in relation to what Buddies and New Contributors do), and transferred to separate discussions for each CA, wherever they happen (for example, I’ll start one with the L10n leads separately).

Do you Approve? Reject (please state a reason)? Need more information (please state what about)?

One more thing we could possibly do, that won’t take loads of time, and will be fun (also, should allow us to see how we’re doing).

On the wiki, we could have a subpage that we’d call the “Buddy Diary” - where Buddies would leave very short, one line notes about “buddying up” with a particular new contributor, including links to profiles.


  • 2014-10-21 - warm welcome to [newuser] - sent him/her a PM on the forums with more directions to contribution areas [buddyname]
  • 2014-10-24 - started mentoring [newuser] about KB editing [buddyname]

The diary won’t be super-complex, but it should have a date, the username of the new contributor and the Buddy who’s taking care of the NC.

You can also leave fun notes there, because fun is good for everyone.

What do you think?

@vesper Wow, what a great idea! I like the “Buddy Diary” suggestion.