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Join a project (volunteers)

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Assuming that you have joined the community and completed your Profile and Skills tabs (1. Join the community), you're ready to join a project. After you log in, you can browse all projects by clicking the Projects tab on the top navigation bar. The Projects subtab page lists all the available projects you can join. Generally there are about 50 projects to choose from.

Read the project wiki page

A project’s wiki page gives a more in-depth description of project requirements and objectives. A link to the wiki page appears on the Project's detail page. Read through the wiki page to gain a better understanding of the project. To stay notified of updates to the wiki page, click the Watch button at the top of the wiki page. If the wiki page is blank, e-mail the project manager to see if the project details are posted somewhere else.

Join a project

You can join as many community projects as you like. To join a project:

  1. Click Projects on the top navigation bar.
  2. Click Projects on the submenu.
  3. Click the project name to view more details about the project.
  4. Click Join on the project’s detail page.

When you join a project, the project manager will receive an e-mail notification letting him or her know that a new member joined the project. Your initial role on the project will be "Observer" until the project manager changes it. (Some projects do not use roles, in which case all team members are observers.)

Review the project's JIRA

As a member of the project team, you now have access to JIRA for that project. Navigate to and review the details of the project.

LDSTech projects use JIRA for project management, bug tracking, user stories, and enhancements. JIRA allows project members to see which project issues have been created, resolved, or are in the process of being resolved.

You can add comments, assign items to yourself, and even create new JIRA items for that project now. Evaluating what's in JIRA, especially for the next version release, will help you get a better sense of what the project team is working on.

E-mail the project manager

Now that you've joined the project, contact the project manager. Don’t wait for someone to contact you after you join a project. Introduce yourself to the project manager. The project manager’s e-mail address is listed on the project page. Let the project manager know you’ve joined the project, describe your skills and desire to help out, and ask what tasks he or she would like you to work on.

When you contact the project manager, describe your background and skills. Ask what needs they have for the project. Find out what tasks you would complete on the project, when the meetings are, how they prefer to communicate, and so on.

Find out when the team meets

You can find out when the team meets on the project’s wiki page, which project managers should update with meeting times. If no meeting information is posted, contact the project manager to find out when the next meeting is. Some projects may not have regular meetings.

Get on the communication list

Each project may have a preferred way of communicating. Some projects use Google Groups, others use an internal e-mail list, others use Internet Relay Chat (IRC), and so on. The wiki page should list the ways in which the team communicates. Make sure you are on your project’s mailing list.

Check out other resources

Many projects also use Source Code Repository (Subversion). A project’s Subversion page stores all the code for the application, including code libraries and other project artifacts. The Source Stats page shows which members have been most active in the project, charting month-to-month activity of members.

The Source Code Repository and Source Stats can be helpful project resources. Both pages can be accessed from the Project Details page. The Source Stats page can give you a clear idea of how active the project is, and who is doing the work.