As the first full day of the Dalesbridge sprint ends, I have no regrets about taking leave from work and flying halfway round the world to participate in my first CiviCRM sprint.
My journey with CiviCRM started three years ago. I work for a smallish not-for-profit and we needed a new online registration system for our annual seminar series. At the same time we were wanting to shift to live online processing for memberships and donations and we were becoming thoroughly dis-enchanted with the proprietary CRM we were using. A trawl through the Internet led me to CiviCRM. It seemed to have most of the features we needed and the support available on the forums was impressive.
Three years on I am more impressed than ever and I want to be able to contribute back to the Civi community, so I find myself in the Yorkshire Dales sharing a house with twenty people I have not met before.
As a user/administrator I am participating in the documentation sprint. Today I worked on clearing up some of the minor items on the issue tracker, but tomorrow we will start on improving the structure of a section in the user and administrator book.
However, I also have a yearning to dabble in developing. A static page in Civi needed updating to compliment some improvements to the documentation. so it seemed like a perfect opportunity for me to learn. I have installed git on my laptop, created a branch from the master, modified a template, done a commit, pushed to my github repository, submitted a pull request and had it merged to core. When I got stuck, which was inevitable for someone with no coding experience, there was always someone willing to help me.
That is what attracted me to CiviCRM originally. Apart from being the best CRM (proprietary or FOSS) for the not-for-profit sector, the active support provided by individuals through the forums is a stand-out feature.