From time to time we get inquiries from certain people expressing interest in helping out with the project, and possibly joining the team. I figured I would share with you how we select team members and what you can do to help out.
One important thing to realize is that we are always
looking for more people. Simple Machines has grown rapidly in the last few years and our team has expanded along with the project. With some recent departures, we are also looking to fill the void with some new blood.
Here are some of the things we look for in potential members (there is no particular order to this list):
How to get onto the team
- Posts often and regularly. We need people who are active and able to contribute regularly.
- Posts accurate information. Not knowing the answer is fine, however posting a bad solution is worse than no solution.
- Posts information in an easy to understand manner. As the project has expanded, we are getting more users who don't have a vast experience with computers. We need people who can help them out as well as the super geeks like me.
- Is respectful to the other users, especially when confronted with an opposing view.
- Ability to work as a part of a team.
- Has been contributing for a while. We often get people who surge onto the scene but quickly fizzle out. We are looking for people who will still be active a year or more from now.
While there are some opposing views, the generally consensus of the team is that you should not ask to join the team. Joining the team is not a goal in of itself. The best way to get on the team is to not try to get on the team, and instead use that energy to help the project as a whole.
Do what you enjoy doing. If you aspire to be a mod developer, go read the Mod Requests
board and develop some mods. If you think the design team is the place for you then go create some kick-butt themes and submit them to the theme site. At the same time, try to help those who are learning. A great theme designer is wonderful, but one that can assist people in creating their own themes is even better.
Do note: We'll often wait months before inviting someone to join the team. This allows us to see how regular they are and to make sure they aren't "faking it". If you do get asked to join the team, there is a good chance it'll be as a Support Specialist. A good portion of our team starts there as that team has the most amount of work to do (plus, most users come to our notice because they are assisting the community and providing answers and support already). Starting in the support team allows us to see how well you perform in the team environment, but does not "lock you in", by any means. Movement between teams is a regular occurrence, as people who have joined find that their talent (or the rest of the team notices talent) lies in a specific area or focus.The process of getting someone onto the team
The process itself is simple. A team member will notice that a particular member has been really helpful and shows the above traits. That team member will post a recommendation to the team board, where the potential team member is discussed, their previous postings looked at, and mods or themes looked at, etc. We try to make sure there are no reasons why the user shouldn't join the team. If the team is in agreement, the team leader for a particular team will contact the person and invite them to join that team. If the person accepts, the team leader then lets the administrators know and they then changes the new invitee's group(s) which adds him (or her) into the team.
Also, note that the teams listed on the team page should not be viewed as a constraint mechanism. We are always looking for people with unique skills and knowledge, even if it doesn't fit into one of the teams. So if you have a strength that you think would be beneficial to the project, please share it with the other users.
[note: this is a re-post of an older thread. It includes some grammatical and textual corrections and some updates on details]