This quarter has seen huge progress being made in many areas of the Mautic Community and some big changes being announced.
All of this has happened against a backdrop of a worldwide lockdown due to Coronavirus and systemic abuses of power and racism being witnessed in communities around the world. We stand united in condemning racism, racist behaviour and all abuses of power. As a relatively new community we have a long way to go, and we are dedicated to setting up the conditions for our community being welcoming and supportive to all.
The lockdown has had different impacts across our community. Some have found they had more time for contributing due to being furloughed, where others found themselves trying to juggle a full-time job with caring responsibilities and as a result were not able to contribute as much, or in some cases at all. Ultimately, your wellbeing and that of your family has to come first. There will always be tasks to do, code to write, pull requests to test. During these difficult times, take the time to care for those you love, and when you are ready to return, we will be here.
Despite all the challenges we have faced over the last three months, we have made some huge steps forward.
Running our first virtual sprint
As the world suddenly found itself in lockdown last April, the Mautic Community kicked off our first virtual sprint, which was originally planned to be held in Ghent at Drupal Dev Days.
A huge amount of work went on ‘behind the scenes’ by the Community Leadership Team who helped to organise the two-day event, which saw more than 60 people sign up and 42 contributors joining us during the event.
I was particularly pleased to see several faces from the Drupal and TYPO3 community bringing their knowledge and expertise to work on issues or projects in the Mautic community.
Getting accepted as a Google Season of Docs organisation
In April we applied for the Google Season of Docs, and later heard that we had been accepted! We will be working with two Technical Writers who will be helping us to improve our documentation - watch out for the announcement when we will share which projects have been successful!
Making some important changes
Appointing a full-time Project Lead
In May, we shared the news that - with the full support of the Community Leadership Team and DB Hurley - Acquia appointed myself as a full-time project lead.
After leaving Acquia, DB Hurley scaled back his participation in the Mautic community and felt it was in Mautic's best interest to have a full-time Project Lead. He will continue to act as an ambassador for the Mautic project. We are grateful for DB's leadership and having guided us this far.
Setting the direction for Mautic
We defined our mission:
“To help people succeed with Mautic”
and our six areas of focus:
- Develop the features and functionality so that Mautic becomes the tool of choice for Marketing Automation, and the market leader in this space
- Improve the ease of use for marketers
- Improve the stability and reliability of Mautic
- Improve the way we support people to succeed with Mautic
- Enable organisations to scale Mautic as they achieve success
- Build a community that is self-reliant, welcoming, diverse and engaged
We also defined our release strategy and shared the cadence that the community can expect to see in the coming months along with some changes that we are making to approvals of pull requests which will help us meet our goals - read more here.
I enjoyed hosting webinars where we unpacked these changes and answered questions with many of our international communities which you can watch back on our YouTube channel.
Project Lead Office Hours
If you have any questions or would like to chat about anything to do with Mautic, I have also started holding office hours weekly.
Ask product questions, suggest feature requests, lodge complaints, offer praise, share ideas, discuss recent blog posts, or talk about good or bad experiences using Mautic.
Anything that’s on your mind is fair game. I’m here to listen, share, and be available to help in any way I can.
Office Hours with Ruth Cheesley EMEA/Americas - Fortnightly from 28th May at 1500hrs UK time Link to join: https://acquia.zoom.us/j/98583607751 (Password: 815478)
Office Hours with Ruth Cheesley APJ - Fortnightly from 3rd June at 0700hrs UK time Link to join: https://acquia.zoom.us/j/91119231380 (Password: 502111)
Both are on the Mautic Community Calendar.
Launching Mautic 3
Last but by no means least, after over five months of hard work, Mautic 3 was released and we also provided a smooth migration path for Mautic 2 with the upgrade script that ships with Mautic 2.16.3.
We also shipped the first patch release for Mautic 3, 3.0.1.
Read more about the Mautic 3 release here.
When considering the Mautic product repository (github.com/mautic/mautic) and filtering commits to the core Mautic repository, we can see a blip in May with only 63 commits, which has bounced back to 143 in June. We know that the spike from Q4 2019-Q1 2020 was largely due to the work on Mautic 3, so we are expecting to see things settle into the coming quarter.
If we exclude the work done by Acquia staff we can see a strong increase in community contributions to Mautic core this quarter, particularly as we geared up for the Mautic 3 release in June.
Attraction and retention of developers
When considering the core Mautic repository, we can see that there have not been as many new developers during Q2 making their first commits.
We have, however, seen an increase in casual contributors this quarter, defined by:
- Core: those contributing 80% of the activity.
- Regular: those contributing the next 15% of the activity.
- Casual: those contributing the last 5% of the activity.
This indicates less reliance on the core team and more engagement from the wider community.
Issue management efficiency
The efficiency at which we process and close issues has been improving this quarter, due to a continued effort to close outdated issues, merge PR’s and triage more effectively. For reference, Backlog Management Index (BMI), is defined as the number of closed issues divided by the number of open ones in a given period of time. This metric measures our efficiency at closing issues.
The median time to close issues in Q2 is 11.439 days, with the trend continuing to rise (see the trend below) as we are working through closing old issues. This is being addressed by the Product Team with the establishment of a triage team.
Pull request merging efficiency
We have seen several organisations contributing to Mautic over the past quarter, with an expected reduction in volume contributed by Acquia since the Mautic 3 work was completed.
The Product Team is steadily working through the backlog of open pull requests and aims to have all open PR’s tagged to a future release by the end of Q3.
Progress in this area is largely limited by the need for community testing of pull requests which is an ongoing challenge, and the need for older PR’s to be rebased and updated for Mautic 3.
We are also continuing to work on being more efficient at merging PR’s as demonstrated by a rising REI. For context, Review Efficiency Index (REI) is defined as the number of closed pull requests divided by the number of open ones in a given period of time. This metric measures the efficiency of closing pull requests.
Growth in overall community engagement
Active community members
We are continuing to see a growth in active community members over time across all our channels (Github, Slack, Forums and Meetup), which is beginning to regularly trend above the average. This is great to see after several years of decline.
Following the work on Mautic 3, we have seen a decline in the total number of contributions across the whole community, returning back to the levels of late 2019.
Compared with last quarter, the trend is increasing upwards and we are remaining above the average line. This is something to monitor over time to ensure that it does not continue to fall.
We are continuing to see an increase in traffic compared with the previous year (across the website, forums and documentation portal).
June 2020 also saw the highest volume of search interest in Mautic since it was launched according to Google Search Trends:
We are continuing to see a gradual rise in position and click-through rate in Google for mautic.org despite the reduced traffic since separating the forums and documentation in August 2019 and March 2020 respectively.
The documentation portal has seen a substantial increase in impressions since May 2020:
As has the forums:
Want to help us improve our web presence?
There has been a lot happening over the past quarter and a lot of good progress has been made.
The Mautic 3 release was a huge project and a big milestone for us, but we have many more challenges ahead of us!
We are starting to address the backlog of technical debt and to grow the community, but we need your help to make that happen.
The easiest way to get involved is to jump into our Slack community and join the team channels - they all start with #t-<teamname>. Teams meet fortnightly on Slack, but just hop in and say hello at any time!
I am looking forward to seeing the project continue to go from strength to strength with the support of this amazing community!