So you're either a technical or a non-technical person and you've decided to meet some strangers and help them with their free software project, now what? Not all projects were created equal, and you definitely want your own experience to be a positive one. How do projects signal to the world that they're ready for new contributors? Where do you look for these signals? And once you find them, how do you make contact and manage the relationship so that the experience is mutually rewarding? Luckily, there are some very concrete ways to separate out projects that would be great to work on and ones that would be, well... challenging.
The free software movement needs to grow and that starts with making our projects more welcoming to newcomers. In addition to coders, many projects sorely need writers for documentation, press releases and blogging or experts on outreach, fundraising and volunteer management or a friendly pack of translators, but aren't sure how to get them. Tweaking your volunteer pitch, looking in different places, being open to different communications channels, and finding ways to appreciate folks will help immensely.
Once you've got them, letting your new contributors get on with what they're good at will help them feel invested. This talk covers how to set parameters and manage expectations for new people. This talk is for both project seekers and for folks who would like to grow their project. Let's build a bigger, better free software movement!