Principles of volunteerism
I've been thinking a bit about how to foster volunteerism and developing some principles to make it vibrant and healthy. Things like:
* Make realistic time committments. Saying that you can commit only 2 hours a week and delivering is better than saying you can commit 8 and delivering 4. In order to effectively divide work the volunteer coordinators need to know accurate time committments to assign resources. Overcommittment can also lead to burnout; we value our volunteers.
* 2 sets of eyes are better than one. In our jobs, just running something by somebody else can result in quick resolution to problems. It helps to identify the important parts and clear our heads of the irrelevent stuff. We can apply the same principles towards volunteering and project development.
* The individual contributes, but the membership owns the contribution. We want to avoid situations where the contributor thinks that he is solely responsible for an individual piece of code. Often, it is best if the original contributor can add extensions or lend a hand with fixes, but relying on that can lead to burnout or delays. Any available person with commensurate experience should be able to pick up the task. We want to foster community contributions.
* mutual respect and civility