Welcome new contributors with the first-timers-only tag

I invite everyone involved in foss Perl projects to invest some time in being inclusive by creating and marking a few open issues/bugs with the label first-timers-only. The first-timers-only label explicitly announces:

I'm willing to hold your hand so you can make your first PR. This issue is a bit easier than normal. And anyone who's already contributed to open source isn't allowed to touch this one!

First timer contributions should very small and easy. But this makes it easier for the contributor to get the hang of the contribution process rather than the contribution itself. Remember, this isn't as much about getting your project features implemented quickly as it is about helping first timers have a welcoming experience.

Why is making efforts like labeling with first-timers-only important? Because it makes a statement that first timers are welcome, that they are valued, and that they can start contributing to your project! Often the hard part of getting into open source for the first time isn't the implementation of a feature, but figuring out how to actually contribute code such that the pull request is accepted! But, oh the feeling of accomplishment when your first PR is merged!

Go label an issue or two with first-timers-only and advertise that those issues exist! Walk a newbie a week (or a month) through the process! Document the process, blog and tweet about it and encourage those first timers to do the same! And add this badge to your repo's README:

Markdown snippet:


With some issues labelled you should sign your project up for the Pull Request Club that each month assigns a random project to club members to contribute too.

Let us know in Perl Programmers about your project's first-timers-only issues.

If you use Github you might like to install the First Timers app that automates most of the process of creating first-timers-only issues. Install the app on your repositories and commit simple changes to branches with names starting with first-timers- - the First Timers App will turn it into a fully fledged issue with all information a first-time Open Source contributor will need to make their first pull request.

A Twitter bot called @first_tmrs_only that tweets when a new first-timers-only issue is posted to Github,

The First Timers Only website also has a wealth of related resources and success experiences. I have shamelessly lifted much of this post from that website, because it's such a great resource for making projects more welcoming and inclusive to new contributors!

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About Dean

user-pic I blog about Perl. I am now in California