There’s a fair amount of detail on how membership works in the How membership works topic, and that will continue to be the definitive guide to membership. This is a topic to discuss how we will be implementing that in practice at this stage in Pavilion’s development.
@Eli and @merefield, as you know, @fzngagan completed his first feature task yesterday, which meant he gained a bronze dev badge and is now a member of Pavilion (I’m going to add a new Group for all members soon, to signify membership).
As you know, open source work is a central piece of Pavilion. We both believe in and support open source work, and it’s an important part of our paid business. A fair amount of paid work comes from changes to our open source plugins and themes.
The progression system laid out in How membership works is based on how I’ve been working with @merefield and @Eli for some time now. Both @merefield and @Eli participated in Discourse mentorship program I ran a few times. I mentored them in Discourse development and they worked on my open source plugins.
From that program @merefield went on to become the maintainer of the Topic List Previews plugin. @Eli worked on the Events Plugin and has been helping with the project management of a number of our open source plugins. This sharing of the work for, and maintenance of, open source plugins is how we all got to know each other.
For you, that means that next steps here are to get more deeply involved in our open source work. The best way to do that would be to focus in on one of our existing open source plugins with a view to becoming its maintainer.
Part of that is building trust. To pass over maintenance of a plugin to someone I want to know I can trust them. Another part is building up your skills. You’re coming to the table with a decent skillset already and you’re getting stuck into the dev side of things on Meta, which is great. Skills here, more means Discourse-specific skills.
From what I’ve seen so far, I get the sense that the Discourse-specific dev skills will come to you pretty quickly, but having experience dealing with multiple issues and feature requests from real users over a bit of time is how this is really tested.
In terms of how long you’ll need to work on open source plugin maintenance (bug reports and feature requests) before moving up to Sliver, and standard Client work, I’m thinking something in the order of 3 to 4 months. Maybe more, maybe less. This length of time is only partly to get your skills up to speed, it’s also to build trust and demonstrate consistency and promptness when dealing with feature requests and bug reports from plugin users.
As your ‘sponsor’ in Pavilion (i.e. the member who sponsored your membership), I’d be overseeing your work like I did with the Import / Export Custom Wizard feature. The key things I would be looking for would be
- progression in your technical understanding of Discourse, Rails and Ember
- how you deal with users of the plugin
- how you think through your work and how it sits in the larger context of Discourse
Ideally, I’d want you to get to a stage with the plugin you choose where you know more about the plugin than I do and have plans to improve it. Incidentally, what would really make me excited is if you wrote a test suite for one of our popular plugins ;).
In terms of the quantity and quality of the open source work you do during your time as a bronze dev, quality matters more. However what is even more important than both quality and quanity of work is consistency. To maintain open source work well you have to be consistent in how you deal with feature requests, bug reports and other work that matters to the users of the plugin. People have got to know there’s somone on the other end of the line.
So to summarise, next steps here are:
Choose one of our open source plugins to focus in on. Ideally a widely used popular one with existing bug reports and feature requests
Work on the bugs, new features, optimizations and other improvements to that plugin for the next 3 to 4 months under my supervision. At the same time, help us get to know and trust you.
At the end of that time we’ll assess where you’re at and hopefully move you up to Silver and loop you into some of our client work. Hopefully you’ll also become the maintainer of the plugin you choose to work on.
Let me know your thoughts!