Sudo Make Me a GWJ Site

Druplicon

Developing and maintaining the Gamers With Jobs code base and server has become more than I can manage on my own. More importantly, it doesn't make any sense to keep it as a one-man show when GWJ has a diverse and talented community of folks, some of which have expressed interest in helping out. We thought it'd be a cool idea to try letting the community contribute to the site's development and we're fortunate enough to have some great tools available to allow us to do so without also making the site itself a completely unstable mess. The software that powers gamerswithjobs.com is called Drupal, which is an open source content management framework. If you're interested in learning more about it, or you're a system administrator, an experienced developer that's looking for something fun to do on the side, relatively new to web development, or fancy yourself a good QA tester, I'd be interested in your help.

For obvious reasons, we don't want to just open up the everything we maintain to the world. So, I've setup a couple of projects that we can work off of in Github. Within the Github projects (one for site-specific functionality and configuration, one for the theme), we can track issues and feature requests while we discuss and work on code changes. I've written up instructions for how to build your own local copy of the GWJ site (minus the private content and user data, of course), and have tried to make it as easy as possible to get rolling. Once you're setup, you can start working adding new features, fixing bugs, and more. Git, the technology behind the source code repository on Github, will allow us to do pretty cool things with versioning so that, if you want, you can work on pretty substantial changes to the site without affecting other, relatively minor, changes like security updates and bug fixes.

Since this is new territory for us, we'd like to keep the process fairly organic for now. If you're interested in helping out, send me, Doogiemac, a private message with some information about how you see yourself contributing to the site.

Update
I've created a bugs and feature requests thread in the Tech and Help section of the site for those of you that would like to participate in discussion but, for one reason or another, can't help with development or testing.

Comments

I don't want to turn this into a "thanks for the site!" project, but errr... well you know.

I've been here for over 3 years and have really enjoyed interacting with the community and it's easy to oversee the hard work it can take to make a site to keep with us and some of its massive threads.

My developing skills are next to zero, but if QA leads step up, or testers are needed, I'll sign up to look for specific bugs or help with feature suggestions.

Keep up the amazing work, as many of us appreciate it.

Spiffy!

When Jeff says he's "busy" it's a pretty big understatement. I don't know if I've ever met someone with more on the go. Like the wise Russ Pitts once said: "The only reward for first place in the pie eating contest is more pie."

This is a great opportunity not only to make the site better but to learn from Jeff and all the other contributors. We have a ton of features and ideas on our own lists and requested by the community. Hopefully the "many hands make little work" rule will apply and we can make some cool changes!

I can help. Although my skills are with Microsoft products (VB,ASP,.NET, SQL) and HTML, code is code. Hand me down my virtual shovel and show me where to dig. I can spare several hours a week or more. Sleep is for the weak.

My wife is ex-Nortel. She did content management for them on several fronts. I'm trying to convince her that she needs to do this as a resume builder, since there is no more Nortel. She already said she doesn't have time to learn Drupal.

Of course, getting her involved would mean I get to be hungry and wear dirty clothes, and my kids would be crying hungry spitballs. 'cause that's how I roll.

If there ever comes an opportunity which is compensated, I'll take it back to her.
Or maybe if there was a way to switch to the content management system she knows.
I don't know what that is. We've been married for five years, and all I know is she does "internet stuff; but not website design".

Doogiemac wrote:

If you're interested in learning more about it...relatively new to web development, or fancy yourself a good QA tester, I'd be interested in your help.

I'm ready and willing but completely unable; beyond a few XHTML tags and a C# class in high school, my nerd chops are practically nonexistent. I'm eager to learn, but how can I help?

PM sent

PM sent.

You know, I always thought I would make an impact as a writer at GWJ, not a sysadmin. Oh well, PM sent.

PM sent as well. Look forward to helping in any way I can.

The level of participation so far is incredible! My cockles are warmed.
I have nothing really to contribute to this other than many thanks for your time and efforts.

Sent a PM as well.

I'll try and comb through the code-base over this week and get familiar with things.

Wow, tons of PMs so far. Thanks, everyone, for your interest. I'll be getting in touch over the next day or so.

PM sent, thread tagged.

I'm far to useless to contribute, but this is a seriously great idea.

MrDeVil909 wrote:

I'm far to useless to contribute, but this is a seriously great idea.

QFMFT.

Is it worth making a thread for feature suggestions?

I stay the hell away from web dev, but there are a few improvements to the site that I'd love to see made. And I'm sure others have their ideas, too.

(PS: GWJ is awesome, hurrah!)

PMed!

Floomi wrote:

Is it worth making a thread for feature suggestions?

I stay the hell away from web dev, but there are a few improvements to the site that I'd love to see made. And I'm sure others have their ideas, too.

That is one thing I was wondering, is there a central organiser for handling changes and patches, and approving change requests. Probably a decent idea to have a simple bug tracker set up.

Scratched wrote:

is there a central organiser for handling changes and patches, and approving change requests. Probably a decent idea to have a simple bug tracker set up.

Github has an issue tracker that we'll use to keep tabs on individual bugs, tasks, or feature requests, but it's a good idea for us to have a thread here on the site for those not directly involved with maintaining the site to let us know if they've found an issue or have a good idea.

I've created a bugs and feature requests thread in the Tech and Help. If you have a bug to report or suggestion, please head on over there!

If you sent me a PM earlier expressing interest in helping out, check your inbox for a reply!

I will definitely PM you within the next 10 hours. It's good to give oneself lots of breathing room. Yeah, 10 hours should be just fine.

I'd like to help out, but one question: what kind of knowledge and expertise is going to be useful? I'm a developer, but I have no experience with Drupal, content-management systems, PHP, XHTML, and even my CSS skills are rusty.

Testing/QA/Verification/etc? If you have a keen eye, can get a local copy of the site up and running, and can put into words how something isn't right or should be different it should help.

Depending on the scale of the changes, I'd guess a beta site might happen at one point for those that want to poke around but don't feel like being canaries down a mine.

Tagging this thread so that I am reminded to PM. I'll look at Drupal and see if I can be of use. At the very least I can do testing and QA.

Quintin_Stone wrote:

I'd like to help out, but one question: what kind of knowledge and expertise is going to be useful? I'm a developer, but I have no experience with Drupal, content-management systems, PHP, XHTML, and even my CSS skills are rusty.

Let me guess: You're a Lego developer.

wordsmythe wrote:
Quintin_Stone wrote:

I'd like to help out, but one question: what kind of knowledge and expertise is going to be useful? I'm a developer, but I have no experience with Drupal, content-management systems, PHP, XHTML, and even my CSS skills are rusty.

Let me guess: You're a Lego developer.

Hey English major, over here. I need some more coffee.

Break room's back that way. Coffee's gone. You'll have to make more.

wordsmythe wrote:

Coffee's gone. You'll have to make more.

*ahem* Don't make me take this up with HR

Not even Terry Tate could come between an English major and mind-altering drinks.