The Onboarding Machine - A process for joining SourceCred

This topic will continue to be expanded as further Zones are identified and constructed.

This topic is meant to convey the ideas and potential processes behind onboarding newcomers into SourceCred, and may eventually be used as a guideline for writing the “Getting Started” or “How to Get Involved” documentation/guides.

This topic welcomes concise overall feedback about things like which quests belong in which zones or ideas for additional quests/zones, but is not accepting #nit comments at this time.

What is the “Onboarding Machine”?

It is a semi-automated system (and eventually series of getting started guides) made up of “Zones”. Each Zone contains quests/how-tos which guide new contributors into our community in a moderately self-directed way with the end goal of teaching them how to be a SourceCred contributor. In each Zone there are a few “quests” for new contributors to complete. Completing the quests and going through each of the Zones in the Onboarding Machine should take a person from “I heard about SourceCred”, to “I’m a full fledged and knowledgeable contributor”.

These quests are not meant to be mandatory. The Onboarding Machine is simply meant to be an easily found structure/tutorial which can guide new folks into learning the skills needed for contributing in SourceCred, as well as giving time to build mutual trust between the new contributor and our community. If a new contributor finds that they do not need many of the beginning tutorials, it should be okay for them to skip ahead to where the information is relevant to their needs.


Defining Zone 1: Getting Connected to the Community

Zone 1 is the very beginning introduction to SourceCred. The audience it’s aimed at is those who have just found our community and know nothing about it, and potentially nothing about using platforms like Discord or Discourse.

This beginner Zone will show people how to get connected to our community with step by step “quests” or “tasks” that show newcomers how to join our platforms, where to start lurking to gain context, where to introduce themselves, and how to join a community call for the first time.

Zone 1 will be included in the Getting Started/How to Get Involved sections of the sourcecred.io docs, as well as the SignPost/Read.Me Discord Channel; as we are assuming that the Discord, and the website are the first platforms folks will find us at.

Zone 1 Quests/Tasks:

  • Join the SourceCred Discord: get connected to the platform where community conversation happens. (See guide: How to Join SourceCred’s Discord)

  • Check the SignPost Channel: here you’ll find links to the basic docs and resources which you can poke through to familiarize yourself with what SourceCred is about.

  • Check the SC Updates Channel: see at a glance how the project has been progressing, where it’s at currently, and it’s current large-scale goals. (may end up replaced with a roadmap deep dive? Not sure. We don’t have an easily navigable roadmap yet.)

  • Introduce Yourself: say hello and share a bit about who you are, your current project, and your passions on the “Introduce Yourself” discord channel.

  • Fill Out Your Contributor Profile: Fill out your profile and get added to our contributor database! You can also poke through the profiles of other folks whom you may be interested in working with. (profiles doesn’t exist yet, but someday it’ll be glorious!) (might go through the sorting hat quiz at this point?)

  • Come to a Community Call: think of a question to ask and let us get to know you and your brain a little over our weekly voice call. (See Guide: How to Join a Community Call)

  • Check Your New Cred-Score: take a moment to see that, wow! you already have some cred! (See Guide: How to check your cred) (a smooth interface for easily checking your score doesn’t exist yet?)


Defining Zone 2: Finding Context and Support

Hopefully Zone 1 has given folks the chance to get to know SourceCred, its active community, and the feeling that they know and understand the project better than they did before. Now it’s time to get our newcomers to start thinking about where they fit into the picture and what they may want to start contributing on.

Zone 2 focuses on guiding newcomers through the process of identifying what kind of work they want to be doing, which initiatives could use their help, and who they can lean on for support as they start to tackle the new experience of contributing to SourceCred.

Zone 2 Quests/Tasks:

  • Check the Task Ticker Channel: peak through the Task Ticker Discord channel to see a list of our current tasks, and the people championing them. This may help you identify which tasks in the project relate to your interests. (the “task ticker” is a Discord channel that has not been created yet)

  • Go through the Sorting Hat: take a small quiz that can help you discover and be directed to portions of the project you may be most interested in. (the “Sorting Hat” quiz does not exist yet)

  • Get an Ambassador: go to the Request Ambassador channel and let it be known that you want some help getting connected to your areas of interest. Your new ambassador will help you dive even further into why you’re interested in SC, where to start, connect you to contributors/champions/leads in the project, and help identify folks you can reach out to for support as you begin contributing. (this channel doesn’t exist yet, part of future discord reorg)

  • Connect with the Champion of your Task: get connected to the Champion directing the Initiative which you’ll be contributing to. This could be self directed, or facilitated by your Ambassador.

  • Start Your First Contributions - get started with contributing on the tasks/initiative that you, your ambassador, and your Champion have all agreed would be a great use of your time and skills.


Defining Zone 3: Becoming a Self-Directed Contributor

After completing Zone 2 our newcomer is not such a newcomer anymore! They’ve taken the time to get familiar with the project, have gotten connected to not just the community but also specific contributors (like Ambassadors and Champions) who can help answer their questions, make sure they’re happy, and guide them into contributing on their first Initiative.

Zone 3 is all about giving new contributors the time, space, and support to become confident in their work and their ability to navigate the norms and processes of SourceCred independently.

Zone 3 Quests/Tasks:

  • Picking Up Additional Contributions:
  • Joining A Team:
  • Beginner Championing:
  • Come to a Team Call:
2 Likes

Really cool.

I love the idea of Zones and will be happy to use some of the yet-to-be-created Zone 2 resources myself.

What areas do you guys envision will need the most contributions? (dev, comms, testing… etc?)

Remark: the ramp up between different zones seems nice and smooth, but as it is an effort from the newcomer it could be nice to add some sort of bonus rewards besides cred. In the later stages, like end of zone 2-zone 3 I expect people might not need this motivation anymore. But in the earlier stages it could boost newcomers to keep going.

Inspiring from social architecture:

TIP:* Build a “seed” product in public view and encourage others to get involved from the start. If people do get involved, promote them rapidly. If they don’t, treat that as a sign your mission may be wrong. Use the seed product to build the community.

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@louis thanks for the feedback!

While a lot of our Zone 2 stuff hasn’t been created yet, I wanted to let you know that getting an ambassador is totally possible. If at any point now or later you’d like someone inside the SC community to have a few regular chats with you and get you more involved in some of the ongoing projects we’re totally available for that. Just shoot me a discord message whenever you feel excited about having that resource and we’ll be there for ya.

That’s information the outreach/community cultivation team is in the process of compiling from our team leads and champions. It may be a minute before that’s transmuted into something easily parsed through, however ambassadors can help you with that in a more hands on way.


And thanks for the ideas! Once we’re really ready to start ushering folks into the project I’ll probably refer back to this advice. And I’m excited to read the social architecture resource you linked!

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  • Zone 1 Quests/Tasks - How do you feel about including creating a Discourse and/or Github account? Since these are optional, it would set up people who are interested in learning and be inconsequential to people who aren’t interested.
  • I didn’t see a “Get an Ambassador” channel on your Discord Reorg. The Get Involved section mentioned connecting with ambassadors, though.
  • Is there a difference between beginner championing and championing ?
1 Like