Frequently Asked Questions: Volunteers

1. How much time should I dedicate?

We understand that our volunteers are contributing their spare time and that lives can get busy. Any time you can dedicate, whether it be a couple of hours or a couple of days a week, will be beneficial and highly appreciated. Commitment differs between projects, teams and skillsets, so have a chat with us to see where you’d best fit.

2. Is this program restricted to only women?

The primary aim of our mission statement is to provide a supportive, safe and encouraging environment for women in tech to increase their contribution to the open source community. The reality of the gender gap in tech means women are a drastic minority and there are many cases in the workplace where women feel intimidated by a male-dominated environment and do not build the confidence to step up and excel in their careers.

For this reason, we prefer to provide that safe space and have WHFNP project teams consist of women mostly unless collaborating with our partnering organizations’ mixed-gender tech teams.

We only request that the project specific coding is left to the ladies while we welcome everyone else to participate in workshops, tech talks, attend events, mentoring, project planning, organising meetups, volunteer outreach, partner outreach etc.

3. What other things I can be involved other than coding?

There are many aspects to delivering projects aside from coding. If you are new to tech, you’ll be surprised by how handy the skills you already know can come in to get a project out the door. Additionally, we provide our volunteers with resources and events to learn coding if they are interested. Here are just a few other ways you can volunteer:

If in doubt please feel free to get in touch and have a chat.

4. How do I get started on a project?

Once you sign up using this form, we will email you on how to get started. Once you’re all set up, you can browse through the projects and keep an eye on their progress via slack channels, JIRA and other comms. If you find a project you’d like to actively get involved in, get in touch with the Project Manager for that team. This can be done by introducing yourself in the project team’s slack channel or contacting us directly by email to discuss your interest.

5. I’m new to coding/technology or returning after a long time - can I still join this group?

Yes, of course! One of our key goals is to aid the development of coding and technical skills within WHFNP. We have built a community that prides itself on supporting each other through sharing resources, providing workshops and simply helping each other out while we collaborate. Choose your project, tell your team that you are a “newbie” or “rusty” (a lot of us are!) and they’ll be more than happy to help. All you need to join is a passion for technology, open source and making great projects happen.

Frequently Asked Questions: Non-Profits

1. When will development on my project begin and finish? We would like to go live in 3 months. Is that possible?

Due to the nature of volunteer work, we cannot commit to a hard deadline or estimate delivery date upfront. Most of our volunteers undertake this work alongside their full time jobs. To achieve success in this context, our self-organized teams apply well-proven project management techniques to identify microtasks and deliver as efficiently as possible given each volunteer's availability. We advise that time expectations and any broken down deliverables are discussed after you have sat with volunteers and discussed the scope of work involved.

2. Will you be able to help us with marketing strategies (e.g. SEO, social media)?

We are happy to hear your requirements. However, our community is mostly made up of developers, UI/UX specialists and Quality Assurance engineers. We currently don't have a large number of volunteers that hold expertise in social marketing.

3. I have a very good idea that can change the world but I don’t know where to begin. Can I come and present my thoughts? Do I need to have technical spec prepared before pitching?

Yes, after you submit the form, we will then contact you asking for more details about the project. You will need to have the scope/details of the project in writing outlining what you wll be pitching to volunteers. Once we run this via our group internally, we will then contact you and arrange for you to come and present at one of our monthly meetups. Depending on the stage of your project, we will then run call for volunteers internally or gather feedback of how you can further break down your project into a deliverable that's within scope. You should receive feedback on this outcome within 2-4 weeks. Please note we do not continue to run call on projects after this initial phase so it is highly dependent on volunteers expressing their interest or opening discussion after your pitch to gauge whether or not we can provide assistance.

4. Can I get access to Slack which is where I was told all the volunteers communicate?

We do not openly allow groups or individuals to join our Slack community unless they are a registered volunteer or a non profit/individual working on active projects with our teams.

5. What are WHFNP terms and conditions?

Any projects produced in collaboration with WHFNP require that: a) The code produced by WHFNP volunteers is open source, b) The digital solutions built attribute WHFNP (please ask us for media kit), c) A dedicated contact is provided with ample availability for requirements consultation, to provide direction and to help our volunteers deliver the end product efficiently, d) Our volunteers are respected for the contribution they are making and treated professionally and fairly.

6. Do we have to pay for the services?

We are volunteering our time free of cost to help charities worldwide overcome their technology challenges/barriers. Though we are not charging for our services at this point of time, we do expect that charities treat our organisation and its volunteers professionally, respecting their time and effort and abiding to the terms and conditions mentioned above.

Want to know more?

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