One of KDE’s Community goals for the next years is streamlined onboarding of new contributors. It’s very important that new people regularly join the community for various reasons. First of all, there will always be something to do and the more contributors the merrier! But there are also people becoming very inactive or leaving the community and these people need to be replaced. Furthermore new people bring in new and fresh ideas. It’s important to have people from diverse backgrounds in the community. Lack of community diversity manifests in several issues:
- Lack of language diversity results in poor translations for non-widespoken languages and other internationalization issues
- Having only English/German/Spanish/French speaking contributors leads to incomplete support for things like right-to-left layouts and CJK characters/input methods
- Contributors with powerful hardware and good internet connection tend to ignore the need for performance- and bandwidth-efficient solutions
- An example from KDE Connect: Most of us are from Europe where its common to use messengers like Whatsapp whereas in the USA it’s far more common to write SMS. Therefore we didn’t really had in mind that it’s important to have good SMS integration in KDE Connect until we actually had some people from the US at our sprint
- People tend to not be aware of different setups other people might have, e.g. having an Android phone without Google Play Services is rare in Europe but common in China
To address these issues I am aiming to ease contribution for everyone. I believe that KDE Connect is a great project to get started in KDE development. After all, it’s the project I got started with myself. The codebase is small and IMHO quite sane. The modular architecture allows you to quickly get cool results without risking to break stuff. To help you pick a task for your first contribution I started marking tasks as junior jobs on the KDE Connect workboard. I want to provide structured information for each task that helps you diving into it. I hope that other KDE projects will follow our lead.
Now I need your help!
Which information would you like to see in the task description? What can we, the established developers do to make your first contribution easier? What were the problems you encountered in your first contribution? What are the lessons you learned during your first contributions that you want to share with others? If you already have a KDE Identity account please leave your feedback on the Streamlined onboarding of new contributors or the Junior Jobs task. If you don’t please leave your feedback here in the comments and I will forward it to the appropriate places. Your help will improve the overall community and thus the quality of our software in the long term!