Joel Maher

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How our contribution model is broken

I saw a bug on bugsahoy, let me solve it!

Getting Involved

  • Find a Good First Bug
  • Hours setting up code, tools, accounts
  • Mentor invests 1-2 hours

What is next

  • Mentor suggests another bug
  • Contributor finds another bug
  • Rinse, repeat


 * I am contributing

 * I am working with people


 * Is this work really useful

 * I am not challenged

 * It is just me + mentor


 * Yay, someone is helping!

 * I feel good


 * it is a lot of my time

 * I have larger problems

 * I am stuck with a n00b

~That looks broken~

What we want

  • Reduce 1:1 time as a mentor
  • Increase contributors impact
  • Grow contributor -> self sustaining
  • Recognition
  • Long term relationships

Is that what we really want?

What about Teamwork?

Can we build a model where we have:

  • Collaboration
  • Growth in responsibility + skills
  • Committed teammates


It is not that hard

How can we do it?

  • Contributors finds a Good First Bug
  • That bug is one of many bugs in a project
  • Contributors know what is next
  • Contributors spend time coding, not setting up
  • Contributors have goals to work towards
  • Mentors don't script out Contributions
  • Mentors problem solve with Contributors

How do we start?

Define a pathway

And then?

Contributors Work on:

  • projects
  • what is next
  • coding
  • goals
  • problem solving

How it works:

  • Project wiki
  • good next bugs
  • working on same project
  • commitment curve
  • part of small team

Sounds simple, but I am not drinking the KoolAid

Step back -

  • contributor (n): Anyone who is not on our team
  • job (n):  to make it easy to work on our projects
  • action (n): Break down problems to make contributions easy

We are still missing...


Step back - Teamwork

  • contributor (n): anyone who adds to a project (you)
  • job (n): Work towards solving the end goal
  • action (n): Make it easy for others to understand the end goal and ask for their help.


All it takes is changing our definitions and using some simple tools to make this a reality.

"The A*Team is a model of how to work in the open"

We ALL need to participate if we want to increase the impact and effectiveness of the Mozilla community

Roles you can do

  • Chat on irc
  • Create projects / bugs
  • Mentor

Actions to take

  • A*Team handbook
  • Create Project page
    • purpose, milestones, instructions
    • first bugs, next bugs
  • Work with all Mozillians
  • Chat in #ateam as much as possible
  • Become a mentor

Thank You