Minimum Project Requirements

Every Global Sprint project should be ready to encourage and accept contributions from a group of diverse participants. To do so your project needs at minimum:

  • a GitHub repository to host project information, including good documentation
  • a license indicating how users can reuse, remix and share project materials, like code and content
  • a README file
  • an active Issues Tracker

If you’re not familiar with GitHub or some of these items, that’s OK!

Create a GitHub account and a project repository.

The following tutorials should help:

  • This intro tutorial showing how participants use GitHub at the Sprint will come in handy if you’re new to the platform
  • This template tutorial shows how to create a project repository using our readymade templates.
  • Optional! If you’d like to do more with GitHub for collaboration, take a look at this set of more in-depth lessons.

Write a README file

The README is the go-to project documentation file on your repo. This file explains what the project is, why the work is important, and how work currently underway supports the project goals. Your README should be written to be understandable to newcomers who might not be experts in your field or programming language, but still want to pitch in! If you’re not sure what to write in your README, refer to this lesson.

Choose a License

A license indicates to the world how exactly your project is open– how it’s code, content, curriculum, or design can be used, distributed, reused, and remixed by others. If you need more info about choosing a license refer to this lesson.

Turn on your Issues Tracker The issue tracker is a GitHub feature that allows you to describe tasks or chunks work (“issues”). Others can comment on an issue to discuss the work. You can assign an issue to a contributor, add tags to add extra information or categories to the work (like “new feature”, “help wanted”, or “good first bug”). “Open” issues are work that needs to be done or is underway. “Closed” issues are work that’s completed. To turn on issues in your Repository, go to the “Settings” tab and check the box that says “Issues.”

Register your project

When you fill out the Project Registration form, we’ll automatically generate an GitHub issue for you to fill out in the Global Sprint repository (The issues tab in the main repo serves as an index to all the projects in the Sprint.) The issue contains a template to fill out with project information– name, description, link to your project repo… if you’ve done the above, you’ve already got it all. And that’s it– you’re good to Sprint!

We strongly recommend that all projects complete some extra documentation that makes it extra easy for participants to dive in and start working right away! To encourage you to do so (and to highlight projects that are the most contributor-ready), we’re featuring projects with this extra documentation on Mozilla Pulse. Read on for Featured Project requirements.

Featured projects are added to Mozilla Pulse, where more contributors can find them. We require featured projects to do a bit more to become open and friendly to newcomers– so both featured projects and new contributors have a prodctive and satisfying Sprint. A list of the additonal requirements for featured projects are below. For more on the steps for submitting to Mozilla Pulse, see the next section.

Contributor Guidelines

This file tells potential contributors exactly HOW they can help– from the format and style for any contributions to the steps required for submission and approval. Without this document, contributors won’t know the specifics of how to help out, so Contributor Guidelines are very important. For more info on how to write Contributor Guidelines check out this lesson.

Code of Conduct/Participation Guidelines

This document outlines shared values and norms that contributors agree to when they join a project community. Good Codes of Conduct (CoC) should highlight positive community behaviors like cooperation and honesty, as well as describing the negative behaviors that are not permitted, like harassment or discrimination. A good CoC encourages contribution by letting contributors know they’ll be treated respectfully. For an example, look at Mozilla’s Participation Guidelines (and feel free to reuse and remix it for your project). If you need help writing your own CoC, refer to this lesson.

Extra Credit

These items are above and beyond what’s required to be a FEATURED project. Do these exercises to supercharge your project and maximize your Open Leadership skills.

Vision Statement

Come up with a super short, clear statement about what you’re doing and why. Having a clear, compelling vision can increase interest and involvement with your open project. This quick exercise helps you create a polished statement.

Open Canvas

Open Canvas is a one-page planning tool designed specifically for open projects, modeled on a business plan format used in the start up world. Creating an Open Canvas can help you think strategically about your project. Our Open Canvas lesson is here.

Personas Exercise

A persona is a profile of a potential contributor or user which you can use to design a welcoming and easy process for participation on your open project. Personas are a great tool to help you understand your and grow community to sustain your project. Our exercise on personas is here.

next: Using the Templates  

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