Patch pilot programme starts today

We all know how important code review is for Ubuntu. It’s not only about spotting mistakes, but also about teaching new contributors how things are done. There’s always been busier times when we fell back in terms of code review and times where we did better.

At UDS we discussed this fairly extensively and decided we want to make code review a more central activity of Ubuntu development. We’d like to borrow an idea from the Bazaar team: the patch pilot programme.

Patch pilots essentially make themselves available in #ubuntu-devel, add their names to the topic and spend their time helping patches “come through congested waters safely in to harbor”. The goal is not
necessarily to do the upload, but help as good as they can to get the patch right and into a state where all conventions are followed.

Important points are:

  • thank the person for their work and time, make them feel welcome
  • help get it upstream
  • if you’re unfamiliar with a certain package, review as good as you can and get the contributor in touch with somebody who knows more – establishing contacts is very helpful
  • communicate clearly what needs improvement
  • you can improve the patch yourself if you like, just be clear on what you do
  • if you notice things that should be improved in the review process or in the tools, please speak up

Important links:

I’m incredibly happy to also let you know that Canonical made it a requirement for Ubuntu Platform members that can do reviews to spend at least 4 hours per month on being patch pilots.

If you want to add yourself for the programme, please feel free to update the wiki schedule.