April Community Team Update

The last time you heard something from the community team was almost 3 month ago. Long long time ago…

So what have we been up to? And where were all those monthly updates?

GSoC 2017

So yea. coala is in. We are our own organization and might even serve as an umbrella for some smaller projects.

How awesome is that!?!

We received 54 applications and the average quality is very high compared to what other orgs get. At least that is what I hear from admins and mentors. We have 22 Mentors and three admins, two of whom would also be willing to mentor students.

79 people who would like to GSoC at coala. Wow!

I won’t mentor anyone as we feel like a designated admin with no student ties might be a good idea if any conflict come up. This also keeps me available as a backup mentor if everything else fails and generally let’s me keep eyes on the hoard with less distraction.

Projects Page

So I talked about the project page in the first post. Go visit projects.coala.io and see for yourself. It is absolutely gorgeous. Again designed by Hemang and deployed by Kaisar (our dev - ops dream team, praise be, praise be).

After it was done, we had to fill it with projects. There was an old wiki page with rough idea outlines and as a starter, we mainly just copy-pasted the ideas over onto the new page. At FOSDEM we met Stephanie from Google and she really liked the page but told us, that the descriptions were meh for some projects. This lead to us rewriting ~20 project descriptions over two weeks. A lot of students that were already preparing for their applications helped with the new descriptions and reviews which probably helped them a lot with understanding the projects better.

Although we received a lot of positive feedback for the projects page, we might not do it as in depth the next time. Although it helped students to understand the projects better, we feel like it also makes it harder for them to distinguish themselves in through the applications. It is hard to come up with your own solutions if you have a set path laid out in front of you. This is something for us to keep in mind and I bet that there will be a lot more of these ideas in the resume post of GSoC that surely will come.

Members cEP and Updates to the Newcomer Guide

The rewrite is essentially done but blocked by the additions to the newcomer guide that need to happen. The main additions are rules about how to remove ranks/rights from members of the community. This is mainly needed due to the high number of inactive maintainers from our early days. I also clarified some of the thoughts and ideas behind the rights tied to the ranks, for example the idea that non code contributors could become maintainers.

The part that blocks the PR are the rules for becoming a developer. The newcomer guide is supposed to guide everyone to the point, where we consider them a part of our developing community no longer in the learning phase of basics. To make things easier, I combined this with a lot of changes I wanted to do to the guide and so the PR is now huge and will probably take another few weeks to get merged.

Why the silence?

Basically GSoC happened.

I totally underestimated the amount of time the GSoC preparation would ask from me. Not only in a productive “I have to review 20 PRs a day to get the project descriptions right” way, but also in the “Are we missing anything? Could we do something better” mind hogging kind of way. The preparation of GSoC just took all of my awareness hostage and so it almost became the sole thing I did over the last months.

This also led to most people from the community team being entangled in the preparation. Hemang and Kaisar basically were on standby 24/7 just waiting for us to ask for the next addition or fix we desperately needed before some deadline, Lasse was part of the never sleeping admin team, Mariatta is now a python core dev and Udayan is working and researching. Basically we were all either working on GSoC or something outside of coala. I feel like I should add, that they all worked on coala a lot more than I did during the last few month. Probably.

Essentially we all got eaten by GSoC and now that I have some breathing room again, I try to collect everyone to get rolling again.


So what is coming up?

  • There will be a lot of GSoC work for sure.
  • I just wrote the intro for our Call for Chefs cooking competition, that essentially was born over a ramen pep talk with Asnel half a year ago.
  • I am updating our ideas page and will try to get more stuff into the works
  • We held our first maintainer meeting today. The idea is quite old but we never came around doing it. I might write something about it as we want them to be public anyway but maybe I can get someone else to do it :).
  • I will kick everyone to write more blog posts although I feel like we are improving on the consistency of our blog entries.

And I think that’s it from the top of my head.