Re: Getting the ball rolling

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On Tue, 2008-05-06 at 19:49 -0600, Benjamin Campbell wrote:
> Howdy
>   For the past week I have been browsing the Fedora community in hopes
> of finding out more about the project. I am greatly interested in
> contributing to the project, but since this being my first open source
> project I am a little green on how to get things going. I would highly
> appreciate any guidance or suggestions anyone can provide.

Hi Benjamin, thanks for your interest in Fedora!  Fedora is definitely a
great place for getting involved in open source.  You will find that
there are a lot of ways to help here.  The Fedora mission is to advance
open source, and we really believe in the power of upstream communities,
and working with them to make lasting, maintainable solutions that work
for everyone in the FOSS world.

Open source tends to be very participatory in nature -- you can simply
find something that interests you and hop right in.  It might feel weird
walking into a room and talking loudly in real life, but in the open
source world, that's pretty much how things work. :-)  It looks like
you've already been able to find mailing list resources -- another good
way to communicate with project members is using IRC.

Read this first to get your system set up: 

Then read this to find some IRC channels that interest you:

Introduce yourself and ask questions.  (You don't need to ask if you can
ask -- just ask!) :-)  The general etiquette in chat rooms is just to be
polite and if you need more direction, speak up.  I hang out on the
#fedora-docs channel, among many others, and will be overjoyed to hear
from you if/when you stop by.

>   The first group I am attracted to is the Ambassadors group. With two
> years of practical technical support in my repertoire, I have gained the
> uncanny ability to convey technological based information to less than
> technologically based people. Additionally I have been familiarized with
> issue troubleshooting, tracking, and resolvent for both end users and
> intra-department complications. I have also worked on technological
> documentation aimed at both development issues and the
> 'lowest-common-denominator' issues.

The Ambassadors group is a great place to be if you want to evangelize
for Fedora and free and open source software.  We also have a Marketing
group which deals more directly with media contact and producing a
consistent, positive, and strong name and message to go with the Fedora

>   The second group I found interesting was the OS Development group.
> Although I am not strong in programming methods, and I am fluent in
> several languages including C/C++, Perl, Ruby, and PHP. I feel that my
> limited knowledge may not provide much in bleeding advances to the
> project, but I would be thrilled with minor details and support for more
> advanced projects. 

AHA!  You would probably be a perfect candidate for the BugZappers
program, which does triage and QA on Fedora.  Jon Stanley, who's another
volunteer just like yourself, has really brought this program back and
turned it into a real juggernaut.  They hang out on the #fedora-qa
channel and the fedora-test-list mailing list.  He's a great guy, both
smart and helpful, and very willing to help new contributors get

>   But most importantly, I am interested in the entire project no matter
> the aspect. I feel that open-source provides both the world and the
> contributor with wealth of great things. The technological community can
> only benefit from projects where advancement is more important than
> profit. Additionally the experience with the open source environment is
> something I am greatly interested in. Contribution to a large scale
> project can only help in advancing my skill set in the technological
> field.
>   Again, I thank you for any support or guidance and look forward to
> hearing from you.

Good to meet you, Benjamin, and we look forward to your contributions!

Paul W. Frields                      
  gpg fingerprint: 3DA6 A0AC 6D58 FEC4 0233  5906 ACDB C937 BD11 3717   -  -  -  - stickster @ #fedora-docs, #fedora-devel, #fredlug

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