Making Improvements to the GitLab Heroes Contributor Experience/Contributor Pipeline
I would like to suggest a new role addition to the Hero ladder, centered around getting people their first PR/first MR accepted, and getting them started contributing to the community. New contributors, in my experience, benefit greatly from having a point of contact they can go to with questions/technical issues and general encouragement that they are on track with their contribution and that it is valued. I am happy to help with creating this however possible! :)
I feel that we need to iterate on the Hero program as a whole, as right now when I go to it I see that the only options for becoming a Hero are to contribute five 'non trivial' MRs--With no explanation of what 'non trivial' is.
This language creates a huge barrier to entry and likely actively has some people that would want to contribute self-selecting out of doing so because they probably feel that their contribution would be 'trivial' so they might not opt to contribute at all.
Is there an established pathway to becoming a Hero for those that come from a non technical background? How can we get these individuals still wanting to contribute without having language that appears to be gatekeeping them from doing so? There are no links on the page that link to: https://about.gitlab.com/community/contribute/ -- Which would be helpful as it gives a place to start.
I know that if I was wanting to contribute I would see 'non trivial' and think that improving documentation or writing a blog post was 'trivial' compared to writing code, which contradicts with messaging on https://about.gitlab.com/community/contribute/documentation/. Many new contributors in my experience don't know where to start, and the Heroes page as it stands gives those that are new contributors no real pathway to do so that is immediately available to them. As someone that is neurodivergent, if I was hoping to become a Hero and couldn't easily find https://about.gitlab.com/community/contribute/ from the Heroes page, it would be very confusing for me.
[As a side note-I have given talks on improving the contributor experience for neurodivergent individuals, and would be happy to do so again for our team here at GitLab. I have also created a guide to improving the contributor experience that I am able to share to help with iterating on this if needed.]