Help Wanted: Give us work!

Due to overwhelming response, and the fact that we underestimated the skill-level of the contestants, the list of tasks assembled by the PSF for the Google Highly Open Participation contest is running out rapidly. The contestants are completing tasks faster than the existing mentors can think of new ones. We need your help to come up with more ideas for the contest, and soon!

This is your opportunity to commission someone to write that little feature you’ve never quite found the time to get around to finishing, translate the UI of your favorite program into your favorite language, or even figure out that library you’ve been meaning to try and write some documentation. Tasks should fall into one of these categories:

  • Code: Tasks related to writing or refactoring code
  • Documentation: Tasks related to creating/editing documents
  • Outreach: Tasks related to community management and outreach/marketing
  • Quality Assurance: Tasks related to testing and ensuring code is of high quality
  • Research: Tasks related to studying a problem and recommending solutions
  • Training: Tasks related to helping others learn more
  • Translation: Tasks related to localization
  • User Interface: Tasks related to user experience research or user interface design and interaction

We’re trying to keep the tasks interesting, rather than pawning off all of the little administrivia sorts of things no one else wants to do. Part of the goal of the contest is to attract new contributors to projects, after all. Relatively small coding tasks (fixing a bug, adding a small feature, etc.) are especially welcome.

If you have some ideas for us, or just want to participate, head over to the google-highly-open-participation-psf project site and look at the existing tasks. If something sparks an idea, send it to the mentors list for discussion.

Task Guidelines

From our NewTaskGuidelines:

The primary requirement for a new task is that it be specific. It helps if it’s relatively small, but there’s nothing wrong with challenging students with bigger tasks ;). The idea is to have tasks take students at most 2-4 days with 2-3 hrs of work a day, but obviously that will vary with student skills. Don’t feel like you need to write down every detail needed to accomplish the task, but do not be vague. Students with good google fu (hah!) should be given enough info to figure stuff out, but we should be encouraging student communication. Provide specific completion criteria for the task, so the completeness of a submission can be judged accurately. Code and documentation contributions can be sent to individual project sites, but should also be added to the task as comments or file attachments. Ultimately your task must be approved by someone. For the moment the process is relatively informal: simply type up the description and send it to the mentors list, where we will try to come to a consensus decision about whether the task is suitable for students. Note that tasks cannot build on other tasks. If you don’t already have a project in mind but want to contribute by writing up a new project, go check out ProjectIdeaIndex and ProjectSuggestionNotes.