I thought this email from Erik Bray was thoughtful and well-written, and might be of interest to folks here.
---------- Forwarded message ---------- From: Erik Bray firstname.lastname@example.org Date: Mon, Jan 25, 2016 at 1:01 PM Subject: [astropy-dev] A word on GSoC and new contributors To: email@example.com
Just a few thoughts jumbling around in my head lately that I need to get out--this is me speaking for myself. This in particular should be read by anyone interesting in applying for a Google Summer of Code internship with the Astropy project (under the assumption that Astropy will participate this year, and will receive funding from Google under the program).
But even if you're not looking to participate in GSoC, there's a point I want novices interested in contributing to understand: That's great that you're excited to contribute to open source. We welcome and deeply appreciate contributions from all comers. [just see the number of open issues Astropy has on GitHub]. We should (and as far as I've seen do) strive to guide and work with each other to move Astropy forward whether you're a student or professional astronomer, or of any other background, and regardless of your experience contributing to open source projects like Astropy. This is in accordance with Astropy's Code of Conduct .
This involves mutual respect between newcomers, and long-time contributors. This means that new contributors must also respect the time and availability of existing contributors. To this end, it is the responsibility of new contributors to discover on their own the contribution directions , and show some self-direction on their part. Because unless otherwise stated (such as at a code sprint), nobody has explicitly volunteered, at this stage, to be anyone else's personal mentor. We will always provide respectful feedback and advice on your contributions. And if you have *specific* ideas on what kinds of issues you would like to work on we'll also provide feedback on that. But otherwise it is helpful to show initiative.
Finally a few additional tips: Aside from the introduction for contributors linked to in , another useful resource that might be easy to miss is the contributing guidelines , useful for anyone ready to work on a specific issue. Most people seem to do a good job following that so it isn't a problem--just always worth pointing out. Make sure also not to miss the "development workflow" guide linked to from the contributing guidelines. There *are* some things in there that new contributors often miss, such as advice to not make a pull request from your "master" branch (always start a new branch for new work).
Also, if you have any general questions about contributing, please ask here, on this mailing list, or via one of the other communication channels listed in . Please do not, if you can help it, ask general questions in GitHub issues--unless the question or comment is specifically related to that issue it is noise that can make issues hard to follow.
Thanks for reading, and keep up the good work, Erik
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