Ubuntu Global Jam: 2 – 4 March 2012

When I first started using Ubuntu I heard about Global Jams and was under the impression that they were for Developers, but the truth is they are for everyone that wants to contribute to the Ubuntu Community. While the community is focused around the software, contributions to the community need not be software related. I want to try and clarify what an Ubuntu Global Jam is so more people feel like they can participate and more people feel comfortable to organize an event in their area. To do this I want to divide up the possible activities of a global jam in to categories like what you find on the side of a game box.

Board games traditionally communicate about their difficulty, play time, solo compatibility and recommended number of players. This makes it easy for a potential buyer to know what they are getting. So here are my initial rating for global jam activities.

  • Bugs- finding, triaging and fixing bugs
    • technical level required: moderate to high depending on bug
    • time required: 1 week to several months
    • number of people required: 1 (group bug jamming is fun and rewarding)
  • Testing- testing the new release and reporting your feedback.
    • technical level required: low to moderate
    • time required: 30 minutes to a couple of hours depending on testing involved
    • number of people required: 1
    • examples:  ISO testing, friendly testing (laptops, etc), specific application testing
  • Upgrade- upgrading to Precise from Oneiric and reporting your upgrade experience
    • technical level required: low to high (if all goes well low — if there are issues high)
    • time required: 60 minutes to several hours
    • number of people required: 1 (having a group participate helps when issues arise)
  • Documentation- writing documentation about how to use Ubuntu and how to join the community.
    • technical level required: none to high (proof reading for spelling and grammatical errors does not require technical knowledge)
    • time required: 10 minutes to several hours
    • number of people required: 1
  • Translations- translating Ubuntu and helping to make it available in everyone’s local language.
    • technical knowledge required: none to medium
    • time required: 10 minutes to several hours
    • number of people required: 1
  • Packaging- work on Ubuntu packages and improve them.
    • technical knowledge required: high
    • time required:  30 minutes to several hours
    • number of people required: 1
  • Answer questions on Ask Ubuntu
    • technical knowledge required: low to high
    • time required: 5 minutes per question
    • number of people required: 1
  • Art – work on artwork for Ubuntu/Ubuntu Community
    • technical knowledge required: low
    • time required:  60 minutes to several hours
    • number of people required
    • examples: desktop wallpaper, poster design, flier design

As you can see there are numerous Global Jam activities that can take place. Anyone can contribute to the community as an individual. The fantastic and exciting thing about Global Jams is that you can do so with people in your area while participating in a larger global event.

If you are interested in organizing an event in your area it is really simple to get started:

  1. Find a place to meet that has access to the Internet (it could even be your house if you are willing)
    1. Libraries, coffee shops, book stores and local colleges/universities make great locations
  2. Advertise the event
    1. Mailing lists of associated or like minded groups in your area
    2. Posters in local tech hot spots
    3. Fliers to hand out
    4. loco.ubuntu.com – register your event
    5. Your loco mailing list
  3. One person other that you committed to holding the event

Do not worry about getting a large turnout; that will take care of itself as things grow.

For more information:

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