Events

Working Group Session 3: Merge Codes

The LifterLMS Working Group will be meeting on April 17, 2019, 9-10am PT for our 3rd session. The focus of this month’s meeting will merge codes.

LifterLMS currently utilizes merge codes for engagements and notifications. In the future we plan for merge codes can be utilized in all areas of LifterLMS (including LMS and non-LMS posts and pages).

As the maintainers we’re in the very early phases of clarifying our thinking around how to make merge codes most useful to course creators and before we solidify any plans we look to the working group for feedback and guidance.

Join us live or leave comments below.

Check the events calendar for information on the event.

A (late) Introduction to the LifterLMS Working Group

Saurabh had an idea

He approached the team sometime in the fall. He wanted us to start a LifterLMS Working Group.

In software development working groups are common. The W3C has several dozen groups which regularly gather to discuss and work on various internet specifications. Without these groups and specifications, we would not have many of the tools and utilities we use daily to power our websites.

WordPress itself doesn’t call them working groups, but if you point your browser to make.wordpress.org you can see another dozen or so teams working on various areas of the WordPress project.

A free and open-source project with a growing community should have it’s own working group, but we don’t.

We’ve always planned features with the interest of the user in the forefront of our minds. We gather feedback and diligently record issues and feature requests. We pivot our focus and goals based on these comments and questions we hear in support conversations and social media posts.

But the issue Saurabh’s idea attempts to resolve is that we did not have an official forum or platform to facilitate the co-creation of LifterLMS. We, the core team, have always remained solely responsible for the actions taken following or as a result of these conversations.

Saurabh’s idea was to gather a new group of stakeholders and meet to organize our collective thoughts about the successes and shortcomings of the project. His idea was to create the platform the project has been lacking.

The First Meeting

In January we organized the first meeting of this working group. We hand-selected a small group of users and contributors. We decided to start with quizzes as our first discussion topic. We checked our issue and request trackers and found when organized by category, quizzes, by far, had the highest number of feature requests.

I had intentions to distill the learnings of this first working group into some ground-breaking document and publish it here on the blog.

I had intentions that something so powerful would be said that it would result somehow instantly in a reconstructed and superior quiz system.

We discussed these things, and we (the core team) recorded more notes and more feedback. A lot of what we talked about has been written down and recorded by us multiple times over. New points were brought to our attention, and some of the issues we’re aware of were given new context.

There’s more work for our team to do on quizzes, and as we approach the second meeting of the working group we have new things to consider.

Improving the Working Group

As we look forward to the next session of the group, we hope to work together to find ways to encourage greater participation from members of the group.

Talk and discussion is not unimportant, but it’s only a small part of what we’ve learned we need from this group. We not only need members with great ideas and strong opinions, we need members who are willing to do work.

The most obvious work is code, but we don’t need to write more code*, we need to draft and create documentation, architectural models, feature concepts, roadmaps, and design specifications.

In simple terms: we need to determine, concretely, the things that LifterLMS needs to do. We need to write these things down and commit to them.

After these concepts and ideas are solidified, then I will work with our core team and contributors to turn these into deployable and useable features.

If we look to the work of the working groups of the W3C, we’ll see that these groups do not write code. They write specifications. These groups may have developers in them but the primary purpose of these groups is to create and design these specifications. The browser vendors and developers working on Chromium or Blink or Mozilla will then interpret these specifications and create the browsers we use.

Moving forward, the LifterLMS Working Group will be creating these specifications, and you’re invited to participate.

* If you’re a developer, we do need to write more code, please join us, please contribute.

Session 2, March 2019: Certificates

On March, 20, 2019 at 9:00am PST we’ll gather for the second session of the LifterLMS Working Group, and we’ll be discussing certificates.

Our choice for this session comes after realizing that our first topic, quizzes, was perhaps too broad a topic. Certificates, while arguably as important as quizzes, we’re hoping will prove to be a topic that’s more digestible in a short period of time.

Bring your ideas, and be prepared to start creating LifterLMS with us.

See the events calendar for meeting details.

Hacktoberfest: LifterLMS Contributor Month

During the month of October, we’ll be celebrating open source software alongside millions of contributors by launching our first ever Hacktoberfest event: LifterLMS Contributor Month.

Hacktoberfest is a month-long celebration of open source software hosted by DigitalOcean, GitHub, and Twilio.

LifterLMS will be participating in Hacktoberfest as a maintainer and we’ll be encouraging anyone from the LifterLMS community to submit pull requests to the LifterLMS core.

Why Contribute

Contributing to open source projects is a great way to learn, practice your skills, meet new people, have your voice heard within a community, and build a public reputation you can take with you outside the project.

Who can Contribute

Anyone with a GitHub account can submit a pull request. If you don’t have one, you can sign up for free.

You don’t have to be a developer or coder to contribute. LifterLMS will accept contributions from QA testers, user experience and interface designers, documenters, and more! If you’re interested in participating but you don’t know how you can get in touch us with us and we’ll be happy to get you pointed in the right direction based on your unique set of skills and talents.

How to Contribute

Whether you’re a designer, developer, or want to help with documentation we have a task for you!

If you’re looking to write or improve new code, tests, or documentation head over to our the LifterLMS GitHub repo and start looking through our existing issues. We’ve created a special Hacktoberfest tag with issues we feel would be ideal for first-time or new contributors to tackle during this event. You can view all these issues here. You could also check out our good first time contributor issues here.

If you plan to work on an issue please comment and let us know as much. This will help prevent collisions or duplicate efforts with other contributors.

Please review our contributor’s guidelines and ensure you’re adhering to our coding standards and that all new code is well documented!

You may also want to familiarize yourself with how to write and submit pull requests, DigitalOcean has a great guide you can review here.

Rewards for Contributions

In addition to the satisfaction inherent in contributing to an open source project, we’ll be awarding prizes to anyone who contributes to LifterLMS during the month of October.

Tier 1
Requirements: Submit one pull request
Prize: An exclusive LifterLMS / Hacktoberfest sticker pack

Tier 2
Requirements: Submit three pull requests
Prize: An exclusive LifterLMS / Hacktoberfest T-Shirt as well as Tier 1 prizes

Tier 3
Requirements: Submit five pull requests
Prize: Receive a super-secret prize as well as the Tier 1 & Tier 2 Prizes

Office Hours, Webinars, and Resources for Contributors

On October 1, join us for our kick off webinar, “Contributing to LifterLMS: A guide to open source projects for new contributors.” This webinar, hosted by Thomas Patrick Levy our technical co-founder and lead developer, will outline how to get started as a new contributor. If you have any questions you can bring them to the Q&A section of the webinar. This webinar will be available as a replay if you miss the live session! Register here if you’re interested in attending.

Join us on October 2 for our monthly bug scrub meeting. If you’re interested in working on some bugs this is a great time for you to interact with the core team and pick up some tasks to get working on!

During the month of October we’ll have daily office hours in our #developers Slack channels. Head in there and post your questions while we’re live. If you miss us, leave your question in the channel and we’ll answer it the next time we open office hours. Not a member of our Slack community? Join up now (it’s free!).

Check out our contributor’s calendar for more details on these events.

Ready to Contribute?

If you’re ready to get started leave your email below. We’ll be sending out some resources and reminders about the event throughout the month of October.