So many people in the Joomla community have hidden talents. They have the skills, software or resources that someone else needs to get something done, but they may not want to go steady and join a team or commit to lots of hours. Likewise, people need a little help but don’t know who to turn to finish a task for Joomla. So how can we bring the talent and the need together? Here is how you can be part of Help4Joomla.
Last month in Joomla Community Magazine, we gave readers a number of ways they can get involved and give some Time4Joomla. The tasks outlined in the article were all self-paced and ideal for those looking at giving something back to the project if they have the occasional 20-30 minutes to give to the project.
From time to time though, the project is looking for somebody with specialist skills to provide specialist help. You could very well be that somebody, but how can I find you?
Usually, we do this through networking at events, chatting over a pint of beer after conference presentations, workshops and breakout room discussions.
“How are you getting on with that document?” “Oh fine, I just need someone to do an illustration. Do you know anybody who could help?” And after several requests and a few pints of beer, hopefully, someone will say, “Oh Flo is a particularly talented artist, worth asking her” And your search is over, or perhaps Flo is just too busy, and you need to start your search again (and drink more beer)!
With a lack of events due to the pandemic, and only so much information provided on Linkedin profiles, we've been trying to pivot for the new post-pandemic normal.
Help4Joomla is a new talent pool directory. It's a place where people can share their skills and contact details for others in the project looking for skilled volunteers to find a match to find them.
Often there are little jobs that need a synergy of skills to provide a quick turnaround. Help4Joomla will also allow a wider group of people to take part rather than continuing to exhaust the usual suspects who have a reputation for being able to do one thing or another but perhaps would like a break.
Who knows… for those in the market for commercial work, you might even find it becomes a source of enquiries (though listing yourself on the Joomla Service Providers Directory may be more helpful on that front).
In its simplest form, Help4Joomla is just a list of people, skillsets and contact information.
To help save time, an availability check would remove the need for people to add and remove themselves from the list.
I would also do a 6-month purge of the list and a regular recruitment drive so that the list is up to date and reflects people’s actual skills and availability.
Even if a team reaches out for help, there's no problem with you saying you are too busy. In fact, it’s a healthy sign that someone keeps an eye on their workload and allows people to ask for help with confidence that their task will be done and will not push the person requested over the edge.
Such a list will make completing those little tasks involving a cross-section of skills much quicker, and it will help bring the talents together without the need for so much beer!
If Help4Joomla takes off and is used by many, it could become part of the volunteer portal. Ideally, you would fill in on your profile, what you can offer, and any preferred contact details and then that would auto-populate a table of helpers so those needing help with a translation, artwork etc., would have the one place to come and find someone.
One of Joomla’s strengths is the broad reach and multilingual community. Finding someone who not only has the skill you require but also has the same languages in common will only add to efficiency and quality when conveying the ideas and work needed. The person's native and other languages might also help.
But in the meantime, a simple page on Joomla docs can act as a proof of concept and a simple learning platform to develop the idea.
If you would like to help Joomla, whether in a team or not, then simply fill out the details in the docs page above and make sure your contact details are available via your Joomler profile.
If you don't yet have a Joomler profile, sign up and create a volunteer profile so people can know how you're involved in the Joomla community.
You might have previously had a profile set up, but if you've not been on the site in a while, you might find your profile has disappeared. This is due to missing out on a request for you to update your consent to publish your information on the Joomler directory. When you log in, you'll be presented with what needs to be done to reset your consent, and by saying yes, you'll quickly find your profile reactivated.
Hopefully, one of the benefits of a simple entry list where people can dip their toes in and offer help will become an entry point for more people to get involved. Many want to help but being part of a team is a stretch too far.
Offering to help with graphics, translations, proofreading, writing, it’s a never-ending list, will become a new entry point for people who use Joomla and want to give back, or those who have time and skills to offer and want to find a home to use them.
If such a list results in a translation, new graphics, or people collaborating on a project for the good of Joomla, then it will have been worthwhile.
Would you be able to give some of your precious time and Help4Joomla?
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