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South Florida Android Developers Message Board › Soliciting opinions on website idea. Its on topic, I promise ;)

Soliciting opinions on website idea. Its on topic, I promise ;)

A former member
Post #: 8
Recently, I've been wanting to branch out and tack on new skills by joining/starting some side projects outside of my comfort zone. But finding existing projects online that are interested in part-time help hasn't been easy, similarly I haven't found many resources for an eager developer (under-skilled in the particular tech they want to practice) to successfully advertise themself.

Meetups and forums could be a good resource, but a project/idea owner would have to canvas across several of varying focus to try and find the relevant people, and the individual developer would need to lurk just the same to catch wind of something that intersects their interests.

These kinds of project/person publish and search tools already seem to exist for sites like elance.com, guru.com, etc., which cater to freelancers with proven track records and verified skillsets, but not for the eager new kids who need to build their portfolio and don't necessarily have much to show for themselves.


My proposed solution is a website built for advertising and discovering software side projects and announcing one's own availability and interested technologies. The ultimate purpose being to match relevant projects to relevant people.


First off, does anybody know if this already exists? If so, point me at it! I want to sign up!

If not, would this be something you, as a developer, would want/use? Would you like it better if it did ___?

I was thinking it could be incentivized/gamified too. Project owners could offer developers some sort of a publicized bragging-rights list of contributors, "tech/languages used" badges after successfully contributing their part. Maybe even giving them some sort of guaranteed privilege in the finished system, first dibs at the finished product, etc if the project is intended to be commercial.


Let me know what you think.

Juan
Ed T.
eddroid
Miami, FL
Post #: 11
I'm not sure I understand your concept, but here are two sites to check out.

https://github.com/ex...­
As a noob developer in GitHub:
- You can fork an existing project, make and test your proposed change, and submit a patch back to the original authors where it can be reviewed and accepted/rejected.
- You can create a new public project, submit some of your own code, and ask for collaborators or code reviews on the social web.
- Everything you do becomes part of your public profile that you can use to demonstrate competence to employers and clients.

https://www.pivotaltr...­
As a noob project/product owner or idea person:
- You can create a free public project to decompose and clarify your ideas, then use it as a planning platform for development by yourself and/or others.
- You can ask to get yourself added to an existing project to generate ideas or clarify issues.
- You can learn how public projects are organized and planned from a non-code perspective.
- You can create a sample project plan as a demo of your management competence.


What are your goals?

- A public portfolio of code or project management work?
Those exist, although I can't think of many in the management space.

- A matchmaking service between devs/managers and projects in need?
I know a lot of project lists, but not any lists of available open-source devs. I'm not sure a list of devs would be necessary.

- A Q&A service matching people with specific code or management problems and people who can help?
There are tons of those (StackExchange, Quora, etc.)

- A learning service for new developers or managers?
Lots of options for developers. Managers would probably do best with books and blogs.

- A crowd-funding type of service that accepted time spent coding or managing instead of money in exchange for some kind of reward?
Would be too difficult to figure out the value of a contribution.
A former member
Post #: 9
When an independent developer thinks: "I have a neat idea I'd like to try but need help doing X and/or want to share the load" or "I want to help out with someone else's side project that uses X and/or want to contribute to something fun," where do they go?


I'm likely missing some important detail, but github and pivotaltracker don't seem to cover the whole scenario:

-On github its relatively painless for a prospective contributor to fork a project and submit a patch, but how do you fork a project with no source? An idea guy with a project bigger than his/her skills or time, creates an empty repo with only a description. How does he/she and mark it as needing/welcoming collaborators so interested devs can find it?

-Pivotaltracker seems to cover the ability to join projects/ideas, but public searchable developer profiles showcasing contributions seems to be missing.


As you mentioned, plenty of portfolios, repositories, project tracking/management, and Q&A services already exist and do their respective jobs very well. I'm not interested in reinventing those wheels. From the perspective of the above developer, however, these services all seem very ad-hoc means of finding projects or people. Nobody seems to have baked in the idea of searching for projects that specifically want/need help, and people that want to contribute.


So my main goals are matching/suggesting people to projects, tracking the relationships and highlighting contributions. Github does a lot of this already, but doesn't seem to handle the case where you have an idea but no code and want to actively solicit collaborators.

Derivative goals would include producing a frictionless way for new/inexperienced developers to find and join real projects as experience building for paid work. This is aimed at devs who don't have ideas of their own to build, and feel that canned book/blog tutorials aren't enough. Also for new devs with an idea to ask for help.


I don't want to build something redundant. If there's a well traveled way to search github for collaborator friendly repos and publish idea-stage projects for soliciting help, I'm all for it. It just didn't seem obvious to me when i first set out to put my hat in the hobby-project ring.
Ed T.
eddroid
Miami, FL
Post #: 12
I'm still confused. GitHub isn't good because it's for coders and it doesn't have features for "idea guys". Pivotal (or Basecamp, Asana, etc.) isn't good because it's for idea guys and doesn't have features for coders. But I don't think you're proposing a site that does both, unless I'm mistaken. I don't think you're trying to build a better GitHub by adding idea guy features or a better Pivotal by adding coder features.

It sounds like the problem you're trying to solve is one of discovery - connecting idea guys and coders - and integration - connecting the idea guy sites with the coder guys sites. Is that right?
A former member
Post #: 10
That's basically it, project discovery.

More formally, a search that indexes projects by needs/requirements and interest in assistance. This should welcome any project that might be short-handed, not just the idea-only projects. Users that need/want help would add their projects to the listing, and everybody can search for them.

Presumably this could be facilitated by integrating with github's and other sites' API, allowing users to add tags to their existing projects and/or profile which the discovery site can index against.


Does that make more sense?
Ed T.
eddroid
Miami, FL
Post #: 13
I think integrating with existing code and project management sites would be your best bet. Pull their public lists and make it easy to import your project details into the system from all sorts of places. It's a data mining problem, which are interesting these days.

Every open-source project is short-handed. That's the nature of open source. There are always hard problems that they have trouble finding the time or skills to resolve.

A list of projects is easy. A list of problems is more interesting, especially if it doesn't turn into another Q&A or bug-tracking site. The fact that some project is in Java or Ruby isn't all that interesting. The fact that a project is in Ruby and is having trouble with a particular library that I happen to know well (or want to know better) is more enticing.
Alex S.
user 41660792
Hollywood, FL
Post #: 8
Hello Juan,

I really like this idea and can see how it can benefit not only project owners, but developers looking to expand their skill set. In addition, some companies are now requiring developers to be involved or have been involved, in an open source project.

Feel free to message me if you need someone to bounce ideas off.
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