In my post, Drupal is frustrating, I stated that enterprise websites need, want, and are willing to pay for better support options when using Open Source software. Organizations have reached out to me as a Webform module subject matter expert (SME) seeking to start a 1-to-1 support relationship. Occasionally, these relationships result in a sponsored feature request. Sometimes organizations want to ask me a simple question or at least know that I am available to answer questions. In the past, I shied away from the idea of setting up regular office hours because it would be an unpaid commitment of my time during business hours. Fortunately, with the existing funds collected by the Webform module's Open Collective, I feel that now is a good time to experiment and set up some initial office hours for the Webform module.
The goal of office hours is to make it easier for me to help people and organizations with questions and issues related to the Webform module for Drupal 8 as well as to assist current and future Webform module contributors.
Sponsor office hours
Sponsor office hours are intended to help backers of the Webform module's Open Collective with any Webform related questions or challenges. These office hours will be strictly for monthly sponsors and backers of the Webform module's Open Collective.
Add-ons office hours
Add-ons office hours are for anyone in the Drupal community building Webform add-ons and extensions that are being contributed back to the open source community. The goal of these hours is to help support and improve the quality of the projects and community around the Webform module.
Office hour guidelines
I've been thinking about how to efficiently structure office hours for maximum efficiency, therefore I've decided to publish some guidelines. Consider these a starting point, they will likely evolve over time.
Office hours will be once a month for 1 hour on Fridays at 11 AM EST.
Maximum of 4 topics per hour.
Discussions per topic will be limited to 15 minutes.
Topics must be limited to only the Webform module for Drupal 8.
Office hours will be posted as an event to the Webform module's Open Collective.
Discussion requests need to be posted as a comment to the "[Office Hours]" ticket in the Webform Issue Queue.
All participants agree to follow Drupal's code of conduct.
Discussions may be recorded and posted to YouTube.
Sponsor office hours
Sponsors who contribute more than $50 USD per month
Individuals or organizations who contribute under $50 USD per month may join two office hours per year.
Individuals or organizations who make a one-time $50 USD contribution can join one upcoming office hour.
Only 2 team members per sponsor will be allowed to join the call.
Additional support can be provided outside the monthly office hours.
Webform add-on review and recommendations
Creating custom handlers, elements, and exporters
Theming and styling questions
Project plan review
Reviewing project requirements
Add-ons office hours
Encourage people to contribute
Help people contribute
Improve the quality of contributed code
Anyone who is contributing Webform-related code back to the Drupal community can post a topic.
Everyone is welcome to join and listen to the discussion.
Ideas, code, and patches must be posted to Drupal.org to be reviewed.
Creating integrations with third-party services
Implementing webform elements
Adding webform support to contributed modules
Code review and recommendations
Office hours payment
Maintainer/contributors are going to be compensated $125 USD for each online office hour with an additional 30-60 minute preparation time. Office hours can be extended for an additional hour as needed.
The hourly rate of $125 USD is meant to be starting place between what a U.S. based agency charges and a freelance consultant. This rate is based on the $100 USD per hour rate established in 2014 via the Drupal 8 accelerate program. The additional $25 USD is to account for a 5-year cost of living increase.
Final thoughts about office hours
Support is a significant issue within Open Source and Drupal. Developers generally enjoy the experience of sharing code and ideas but supporting the code is not as rewarding. No one wants to provide free support, yet everyone wants to know an open source project is supported. The more maintainers can make themselves available to individuals and organizations, the stronger the community and code is around a project. Sponsor office hours provide tangible and more reliable support for the Webform module. If you need more support around the Webform module, consider backing the Webform module's Open Collective and sign-up for the next sponsor office hours.
Open source works best when the community around a project grows and more people get involved in contributing code and ideas. The main purpose around the Webform module's Open Collective is to strengthen and support the community around the Webform module and Drupal. Add-on office hours are intended to encourage mentorship and code contribution to the Webform module and Drupal community. If you have an idea that you want to contribute back to Drupal or need help getting involved in the Drupal community, sign-up for the next add-ons office hours.
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