POLL: Non-code Contributions

There is a great post by Andy Lester, entitled “14 Ways to Contribute to Open Source without Being a Programming Genius or a Rock Star“, in which he describes the dilemma of so many prospective contributors to FOSS:

The most damaging idea that I’ve observed among open source newbies is that to contribute to open source, you have to be some sort of genius programmer.

He is so right! There are many ways to contribute to FOSS that are not about committing new code to the SCM, and Andy catalogs 14 of them in his post. I won’t steal his thunder – go read his post for some great ideas.

So what does this have to do with Ohloh? Well, Ohloh contributes to the “super programmer” idea to some extent, in that the system compiles and analyzes statistics about code – the stuff found in projects’ SCMs. Imagine if Ohloh could compile data on the non-code elements of FOSS projects – what would you want to see first? Using Andy’s post as a guide, here are some possible data sources we could add to Ohloh – vote and tell us which you think would be most valuable!

About Rich Sands

I'm the Principal and Founder of RSands Consulting, a developer/FOSS strategy, product management, and marketing consultancy. Formerly Ohloh's PM, Black Duck is now a client of mine.
  • Thanks, I’m glad you like it!  I hope it inspires some folks to pitch in.

    I’m on Ohloh (and pretty much everywhere) as petdance: https://www.ohloh.net/accounts/petdance

    • richsands

      @Andy – I think it is an excellent post. I’m not a coder so I can totally relate! I should have looked up your Ohloh ID – duh! I’ll remember that next time.

  • I think it would be interesting to see how many people are discussing the project on Twitter, but that’s probably not a very valuable metric, not to mention it would be hard to track… would it be via tags, specific accounts, both?  Just a thought.