Where we're coming from
Free software happens through a community of people supporting, nagging, and cheering one another on. However, we believe that our community loses tons of prospective members because learning how and where you can fit in is difficult. New people often have to overcome confusing jargon, a fear that their effort might not be welcome, and a lack of personal connection to the community. OpenHatch is an ongoing project to address these issues, through our website and in-person outreach efforts.
How to use this website
For new contributors, the OpenHatch website is an entry-point to friendly people and projects from across free software. Self-starters can browse thousands of volunteer opportunities from projects and find one that matches their interests and skills. We encourage the sense that the community is nearby through people search, the ability to find mentors within a project, and a map to help you find participants in your neighborhood. On project pages, the existing community makes personal appeals for help. You can privately learn skills related to paticipating by using the training missions. (Read more about how new contributors can make use of the site.) Projects can use the OpenHatch website as a set of resources for making open source comprehensible to a newcomer. You can send new contributors to our training missions to speed up the tutoring process. The Q&A on each project's page explains to people where they can fit in. Projects can list their bite-sized bugs in the volunteer opportunity finder. Your project's ability to get utility out the OpenHatch site scales up as you put in more effort. (Read more about how current participants can use OpenHatch.) You can also use the OpenHatch website as a place to build a profile of your presence in the community. As free software contributors, our identities are scattered across commit histories, email lists, and IRC channels; your profile on OpenHatch can help people understand who you are in the community. We automatically import some types of contributions, and encourage you to round out the picture with the rest. (Read more about the profile importer.)
OpenHatch was founded in May 2009 by three alumni of the free culture and free software movements. The company was part of startup incubator Shotput Ventures' inaugural class. Our core product is an open source software involvement engine. For developers, we provide tools to demonstrate and broaden their experience and expertise in the open source community. Our vision is to make the open source community better connected, more productive, and ultimately well rewarded for its expertise.