So you want to become a member of the Koha community?
Good news, you already are!
Do you use Koha? Are you an open-source enthusiast? Are you a developer looking to make the web better? Whatever brought you here, welcome! Your interest in participating already makes you a member of the Koha community. Spanning the globe, translated into many languages, and always active the Koha community is open and wants you!
Okay, fanfare out of the way you may want to know how you can actually get involved and interact with the community at large. If you are a developer and want to dive right in go grab a bug, if you want to test head on over to the sandboxes or spin up your own kohadevbox.
For those wanting to start a bit slower, there are three easy entry points to get you started, teach you about the project, and let you get more involved as you feel ready.
- Read the friendly manual! (and the wiki too)
http://wiki.koha-community.org/Many of us have poked in to the help files when we get stuck, but have you ever explored the whole manual? It is always amazing to me how much there is to learn and how much work and information are contained here. From decrypting codes stored in the database , to guides to customizing the OPAC all your questions, and even those you didn’t know you had, can be answered here.
Similarly it is incredible how many pages there are on the wiki to answer your questions and provide extra information about the project. The wiki itself has pages on community participation and how to help. There are technical pages, pointers to sample data, and pages with suggested improvements in addition to pages you may already know. Reading here you can see what has been done, what is being done, and you may just find you have an opinion on what should be done and you are welcome to share!
- Subscribe yourself!
https://bugs.koha-community.org/The Koha mailing lists are a good place for watching discussion on what is going on in the community. There are general user questions about reports, features, and bugs, but you also get discussion of interesting Koha projects around the world. You can quickly see that users and their questions vary from the complex to the simple and it won’t be long until one comes along that you can answer!
If you want a narrower focus subscribing to a specific bug from Bugzilla, Koha’s bug and enhancement tracker, lets you follow along the progress of a development from its proposal to its addition to Koha. Commenting on a bug here is your chance to influence the development of a bug and to make sure developers know what the end user thinks. Simply sign up for an account and you can check the ‘Add me to CC list’ button and click ‘Save Changes’ and you will now get all updates. A good opportunity to express your opinion might be this bug 🙂
- Lurk, Hang out, or chat!
https://wiki.koha-community.org/wiki/IRC_MeetingsFor daily interaction and seeing what community members are up to, the IRC channels can’t be beat. In addition to seeing questions from basic to technical, you are going to see the personality of the community here. Lurking is welcome, and participating is too. Multiple timezones are represented, so there is almost always someone around, and everyone appreciates a nice hello! You can even attend the IRC meetings and all are welcome to vote, make your voice heard!
For those wanting to start a little smaller try the ByWater partners channel. You can find most of the team in here throughout the day. Have a ticket that needs a quick answer? Want to see if something is an issue or a bug? Or have a question you can’t answer with the manual? Ask us here! Just signing in and hanging out here is encouraged as we sometimes have questions for our partners too and we are always happy when we can find you online.
There’s much more to say, and the more you get involved the more you can find and create your own niche, we hope to see you all soon!
Read more by Nick Clemens