It’s the beginning of a new year! I hope everyone has had a successful 2021 and is looking forward to an exciting 2022 with SuiteCRM.
You’ve probably noticed that the last 12 months have been extremely busy for us here at SalesAgility with the launch of SuiteCRM 8, the biggest step we have taken since we launched SuiteCRM in 2013. There is still, of course, a lot to do and we will continue onwards with each release of SuiteCRM together. But we also want to take this opportunity to reflect on the past year.
Although the team has achieved an awesome feat with SuiteCRM 8 it didn’t happen without compromises, in particular the lack of consistent activity on the SuiteCRM repo. The core team is passionate and dedicated, but we simply couldn’t spread ourselves efficiently enough to cover both the day to day running of the repo whilst developing the next generation of SuiteCRM. The coronavirus pandemic also didn’t help but being realistic, it only exacerbated the problem - it didn’t create it.
One of the biggest hurdles the project has is the contribution journey, especially involving the processing of PRs and committing them to core. There is, of course, other areas to improve upon like communication, releases etc. But as maintainers, we feel that for the project to continue to thrive we need to physically enable others.
We are therefore excited to be publishing this open invitation for a SuiteCRM community working group!
So, what is it?
Well, in the past few months we have already taken the first steps towards establishing a small community working group. Made up of myself and other community members, we have been focused on the day to day running of the SuiteCRM repo, as well as discussing and making strategic decisions to improve the contribution journey. We initially invited those that had demonstrated a good working knowledge of the SuiteCRM framework, are enthusiastic about helping others and are interested in driving the project forward.
We arrange virtual meet ups frequently for those able to join. Here we discuss the group’s goals and any item of interest to the community (newly raised issues, or high severity). However, due to the nature of community driven groups, we soon discovered that to build up more momentum we needed to reach out to more of the community.
So, if you wish to join this SuiteCRM community working group, be more involved in the day-to-day activity on the SuiteCRM repo and share your insight from a contributor’s perspective to improve the project then apply!
Submit your application outlining why you feel you would be suitable, how you would excel as being a member of the group and how you would help shape the SuiteCRM’s community experience for the better.
We will be reviewing all submissions and will select those that we feel are best suited to the group’s roles and responsibilities as well as bring an alternative perspective. If we have a large pool of successful applicants, anyone not chosen at this stage to join the working group will be added to a waiting list to be contacted later if/when there are vacancies.
With this being a voluntary group of members, with the exception of myself, we accept and understand that members are often limited by time. We therefore ask that you are able to attend at least one virtual call a month and can commit some time to assisting on any associated tasks that emerge from the working group call.
There is a lot of scope for this community working group to develop into something more, but as a starting point we will be tackling the inactivity of PRs on the SuiteCRM repo as a priority. So many members have done fantastic code contributions that should be acknowledged, thanked, and progressed if suitable! As a group member one will have GitHub repo privileges to triage and label as well as learn and review according to the SuiteCRM core team’s own coding standards and best practices, identify risks and security issues in contributed code, assess and testing PRs. There is also a wider reach of tasks revolving around PRs that will be included to improve overall experience, like for example, tackling and implementing a new CI tool, or writing up documentation for on boarding, or introducing better tagging, or improving the release process etc. As I said, there is a lot of room to explore within this working group as well as enabling the whole community to get involved.
So if you are interested, have the time, and you either have development knowledge to help with code reviewing, troubleshooting and bug fixing (either new or existing contributions) or are knowledgeable enough to help test PRs/confirm issues, respond to members bug reports, and write documentation from the end user perspective, then please consider applying. We want to strike a good balance of members who are developers and end users.
We hope this all sounds exciting because frankly it’s a long time coming, not to mention, needed.
The open invitation will be live for 3 weeks in January (up until 30th 23:00 GMT). After this date we will subsequently review and get in touch with those who applied by late January/ early February.
I look forward to meeting more members of the community and growing this group to make a positive impact on the project!