Objective Review: We have insight into community health and trends through meaningful metrics

We’re working on Fedora Strategy 2028 — our next five-year plan. We are now reviewing those Objectives and their associated Impact. Read this guide for details on the current planning phase.

This Objective is part of the Theme “Fedora leads in Linux distribution development” and the Focus Area Community Sustainability. For general discussion of this focus area, please see the topic https://discussion.fedoraproject.org/t/fedora-strategy-2028-focus-area-review-community-sustainability/79277.

Objective and Impact

Objective: We have insight into community health and trends through meaningful metrics.
Impact: We know where we’re succeeding — and what needs help. By measuring more than git commits, we can highlight more than coding.

We’ve started talking about this already in Fedora Strategy 2028: What is a contributor? What is a contribution? Also, everyone probably already knows that I love charts and graphs that show a story, raise questions, and (ideally!) provide answers.

Of course, many projects are concerned with metrics. There’s a whole Linux Foundation project about understanding open source health through metrics — and there’s a lot we can use, borrow, adapt, and learn from there. But, there is an area where I think Fedora can really show something new.

Most metrics projects are focused on code contributions. Even when looking for human/community factors like burnout and lottery factor, they tend to start with git commits and similar. Fedora, however, is not essentially a coding project. Code is important, and there is certainly a lot of engineering work (which often shows up in a code-like way), but we’re really an integration project — and we know that code isn’t all there is to it.

That means that we are going to design non-code contributions into our plan from the beginning, and through that provide examples for how other projects — even ones that are primarily developing a single piece of software.

In the next planning phase for strategy2028, we will work on developing specific initiatives, projects, and programs — and it’s already clear that we need an early metrics initiative to provide our Guiding Star number.[1] But this doesn’t stop there — we can also use what we learn to highlight successes across the project, and to identify areas which need help before they’re in crisis.

Our goal now

For this Objective and related Impact, validate that:

  1. If the Impact is achieved, it’s reasonable to expect an increase in active Fedora contributors.
  2. Success in the Objective logically results in the intended Impact.
  3. That link is reasonably sufficient — that is, it represents everything needed to have the Impact.
  4. While there might be other ways to have similar Impact, the chosen Objective is the right one for Fedora right now.
  5. The wording is precise and clear. The Objective is concrete, and the Impact is (at least a little bit) inspirational. Together, they fit into this Focus Area.

Bonus. If you can improve the longer explanatory paragraphs at the top of this post, that’s helpful too!

As outlined in the roadmap, this post will close in one month.

  1. how many contributors do we have, and are we on track to double that? ↩︎

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