Recently I have been thinking about the routes to participation in Mozilla, primarily the Get Involved page, currently hidden at https://www.mozilla.org/en-GB/contribute/
Before I explain my idea, a brief overview of some of the existing channels, (with due respect to those who created them):
https://www.mozilla.org/en-GB/contribute/ - our main, not so easy to find, portal for those who are new to Mozilla:
- Has a volunteer count that is very exact, but never updates (it was 10554 three years ago!).
- Points new contributors to closed-ended or dormant projects.
- Does have an amazing, uplifting video (it led to me contributing!)…but is five years old.
https://activate.mozilla.community/ - a series of projects for existing contributors to deepen contribution:
- Has been overtaken by the “sprints” as part of the Mission-Driven Mozillians initiative.
- Takes a lot of effort to write an “activate”.
https://whatcanidoformozilla.org - a website that connects new contributors to a suitable project:
- Not really officially acknowledged
- Can be a little out of date - it sometimes can send people to closed projects.
All of the above are all good, but they all lack something and all struggle with being current. My concept attempts to address this and I hope it can better link contributors to skills and abilities that are required to better avoid a “feast or famine” where a project has too many people, but not with a required ability.
On your mobile device or laptop, have a look at an app store. Whether it be Google Play, GNOME Software or our very own addons.mozilla.org they have some similar characteristics:
- A big banner (which may rotate) highlighting an “app of the month”.
- A series of categories of different apps.
- When you look at the details for the app, you are shown high-level information, but also more technical information if you need it.
So how could this work for Mozilla?
- A big banner = a key project or initiative. Maybe a “sprint”, maybe we have a new product that needs people to download a Nightly build to test it.
- Categories = coding, non-coding, a particular theme (such as l10n), or a particular skill (speaking a certain language).
- Details for the app = What is involved, where to “sign up”, level of commitment, is an NDA required, what operating system do you need?
Now imagine that the “app store” developers are teams across Mozilla. The People team or the Finance team looking for an intern, the Mobile team looking for more people to test a GeckoView build of Klar, Mozilla Support looking for a few people to help localise support docs in an Indonesian dialect, the Test Pilot team need help squashing bugs. Each one can build an “app” with the relevant details, file it and remove it later when the goal is met or the project is ended. New and existing contributors can browse the store, see a role they could contribute to, learn more and understand how to get involved.
Hopefully, you can see what I am trying to describe and how this could be an engaging, active front end for contribution to Mozilla for both new and exisitng contributors.
Look forward to hearing your thoughts,