Giving OpenHatch a try

A few days ago I came across some news about OpenHatch and discovered this non-profit that aims at helping would-be open-source contributors to find projects to contribute too.

I must say that I find this idea really nice. Of course that’s yet another open-source project directory coming after sourceforge, github, ohloh etc but what I like here is that they also  try to formalize a way to define entry points for beginners (with specific tags on issues and a small pre-formatted FAQ).

So I decided to give it a try and see if I can attract would-be contributors to some of my projects, especially wateronmars, yapsy and shivasmiles. I expect that for all of these projects there is still a long way to go to make them perfectly welcoming to beginners, but the first step is done and we’ll see if we can do something out of that.

Another reason I like this “openhatch” idea is that in my actual job, when I interview people to hire, the ones that have contributed significantly to open source projects usually stand out. It’s far from being a strict selection criteria of course but usually a good sign anyway.

  • Asheesh Laroia

    Salut !

    Glad you found OpenHatch! We’re happy to answer questions on #openhatch on freenode, generally, too.

    A tip for you: we find that our website is moderately helpful for projects, and that going beyond it helps projects stand out for new contributors. The following two are my additional recommendation:

    1. Following the first two sections of the “In Person Event Handbook” even if you don’t plan to have a sprint soon: http://opensource-events.com/ . The “Defining goals” and “Project setup” are some of the hardest things for a project to take care of, and some of the most important from a new contributor’s perspective.

    2. Advertise specific tasks that need being done, and write them on your blog or in a similar place. https://openhatch.org/wiki/Starling is a page we wrote about this kind of thing some years ago; we hope to get it polished sometime.

    Thanks for stopping by the site, and we’d love to hear feedback or ideas or bug reports.