Writing clear and concise issues

Tasks that need to be completed or discussed are added to repos as issues.

If you want outside contributors to help work on your project, it’s important to write clear issues that detail what people can work on. You can also use labels to distinguish issues and sort them into categories. For example, here are all of the open issues on the Midas project that are listed as questions.

It's particularly helpful to use the ‘Help Wanted’ label for tasks or questions you need help with. (Examples.) Why? There are other sites, like Govcode and Code for America’s Civic Tech Issue Finder, which surface issues that have been labeled ‘Help Wanted’ so people can jump in and help. You can also use the ‘Beginner Friendly’ label to specifically note tasks that are suitable for beginners.

When writing an issue, it's often helpful to craft it in terms of a user story because it frames the task in terms of a user need. User stories are framed as follows: “As an X, I want to do Y because Z.” Here is an example of an issue framed as a user story.