Help new contributors - SUMO Buddy Program

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It can be tough being a new contributor. There are many different opportunities like working with people around the world and much more. The buddy program aims to help new contributors get started with Mozilla in the fastest and most fun way possible. This is done by using a buddy to guide new contributors around. By matching a new contributor (or as we like to call them, trainees) to an experienced one, trainees can learn the ins and outs of SUMO, along with the culture of the Mozilla community.

Who is the Buddy Program aimed at?

The Buddy Program is aimed at contributors who are new to Mozilla, but Mozillians who wish to get involved with SUMO are also welcome.

Becoming a Buddy

To take part in the program by taking the initiative to being a buddy! Simply sign up on the SUMO mailing list and send an email to it letting us know that you'd like to be a buddy. We'll help get you started from there!


Buddies are experienced contributors who have signed up to help trainees. This section contains information buddies may find useful.

Contacting a Trainee

  1. If a trainee has posted to the Buddy Forum and you have chosen (or have been assigned) to be their buddy, then use that thread to communicate with them.
  2. Decide on the easiest method to contact your trainee.
  3. Ask them which area(s) of SUMO they would like to contribute to. If they want to contribute to more than one area, ask them which one they would like to start with. If they are new to Mozilla, it's recommended that they start with one area first, and then to another, once they are comfortable.
Note: If there is no response from the trainee within a week of contacting them, mark them as "Did not reply" on the spreadsheet, and choose a new trainee.

Working with your Trainee

Buddies are a point of reference for their trainees, so it is vital that they understand they can contact you with any questions they have.

When working with a trainee, give them small task(s) to do (for example, answer 5 questions on the support forum). During that time, answer any questions they may have. When they have completed the task check out their work and give them some feedback. This could be something like letting them know what they did well on and what they could improve on. Repeat this until you feel that your trainee is comfortable with that area of SUMO. From there they can either ask for help in a different area or graduate.

Buddy Areas

For the program, we have split SUMO up into four different sections. Below you can find an overview for each section which includes a buddy checklist and useful links.

These fine people helped write this article: Noah_SUMO, Logan, Andrew, Safwan Rahman, iamjayakumars, Sourav Lahoti, Yousef, user832823, Amit Kumar Thakur, Dyvik Chenna, vesper. You can help too - find out how.