I remember a time, about 8 years ago, when Umbraco was on CodePlex and using SVN for source control. The source was open but to contribute to it... that was “special” (and not the good kind of special). I believe I was one of the first of the few outside contributors at the time, I’m not even sure that CodePlex was even using the term “pull request”.
I was so proud to have found and fixed a bug in Umbraco and it took me forever to figure out I would probably need to provide the team a patch file.
The team at the time didn’t deal with contributions very often, so it took forever for them to have a look at it and include my patch in the core of Umbraco CMS. I remember being super proud that my name was now forever part of the commit history 🎉! I had made a change for the better. It felt great and empowering 💪!
Ever since that first contribution I’ve been trying to help make contributing to Umbraco easier and more predictable. We’re making progress all the time but we’ve also been very busy, so the focus has not always been on contributions. Today we’re looking at a 194 open pull requests, dating back to 2016 😨
Time to sort out some PRs!
For everyone who has submitted a pull request only to see it ignored for days, months, weeks: I feel your pain!
The good news: we’re here to help. Since last week, my job title has changed to Head of PR (pull request, of course, what did YOU think? 😉).
This new function consists of:
- Creating a process for dealing with incoming pull requests in a predictable and reliable way
- Managing the issue tracker - triaging, assist in prioritization and escalation
- Assist in communication between the community and the development team
- Engaging with, onboarding, and coaching new contributors
- Managing the Our Umbraco site both technically and in interacting with the community
- Participate in community events such as hackathons, meetups and festivals
For the past year we’ve been very proud of Sofie’s awesome progress with her documentation curators team and we’ve learned a lot from the way they work together on documentation contributions.
In that vein, realizing that dealing with pull requests would be a time consuming task for just one person, we have asked a few members from the community to help out. The new community PR team (PR) consists of:
These awesome community members are giving up some of their valuable spare time helping us out. They will be the first friendly faces to reply to new PRs, within a few hours. They will guide you in making sure that you didn’t forget anything and then check out your code and test it. Once everything seems fine they will ping HQ with their “seal of approval” ✅🏅 so we can merge contributions much more quickly.
This is a huge timesaver for HQ and an great opportunity for the PR team members to interact with the community and learn more about the inner workings of Umbraco.
We’re super happy to have Anders, Dave, Emma, Kyle and Poornima on board, please give them as many high fives as you can!
I very much look forward to working on making sure the contribution process is much better than my first experience and I am thrilled to be part of this cool team of people to help make that a reality!