Clarification questions about Github's "contributor" badge and "first time contributor" badge

Hi, I am a researcher who is interested in Github’s features and how do those features affect the community. I have some clarification questions about Github’s “contributor” badge and “first time contributor” badge. Could anybody help to answer them? Thanks a lot!

  1. Before the “first time contributor” badge(See https://blog.github.com/2017-07-25-making-it-easier-to-grow-communities-on-github/) , I think Github already had a “contributor” badge for comments from who committed successfully before, correct? Do you guys happened to know when was the feature firstly implemented?

  2. If a “contributor” badge already exists, what is the difference to bring a “first time badge”, I mean, if someone is not with the “contributor” badge, he or she would be a first time contributor, isn’t it? Why a new badge?

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One of the things that the open source community as a whole is trying to improve is being welcoming to new people. The intent of the “first-time contributor” badge is to let maintainers know when someone is participating in their project by contributing something for the first time. This allows them to give extra help and point to appropriate resources to make their first contribution a more positive experience. We considered a “First contribution” badge, but since all the previous badges “Owner”, “Member”, “Contributor”, etc were about the person and not the content, we thought it would be confusing to have a “First contribution” badge that was about the content. And “First-time attempted contributor” was a little wordy 😆

I don’t recall when the original badges were implemented. We ship things all the time 😀

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Thank you sooo much for your reply!

Do you mean that “first time contributor” is more about the situation when people are the first time to submit a pull request (which means they want to contribute)? So it will only  appear when maintainers are reviewing new comers’ pull requests. But “contributor”, “owner” badges appear when people are having communications somewhere else. 

Did maintainers know whether a pull request comes from a contributor or a new comer before this feature?  I want to know whether they already know the fact because the “contributor” badge appear in the pull request, this new badge just wants to remind them to be more friendly?

Do you mean that “first time contributor” is more about the situation when people are the first time to submit a pull request (which means they want to contribute)?

I mean that the “First-time contributor” badge is there to identify that the person submitting the PR is submitting their first PR to that repository.

Did maintainers know whether a pull request comes from a contributor or a new comer before this feature?

Before this feature, maintainers could figure it out by looking in one of a few places. This feature saves them the time of having to do that for every pull request where they don’t immediately know the author.

this new badge just wants to remind them to be more friendly?

 The badge doesn’t want them to do anything necessarily. Open source maintainers asked us to make it easier for them to know who was new so the maintainers could give them more support. We implemented this badge to give them that information. We at GitHub also feel that helping people become more involved in open source is good for the open source community and good for the people becoming involved.

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Now I see. It is important for me to clarify my research question. Thank you so much for your time and effort to make this community better.:smiley:

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Thanks for this @lee-dohm – is there any way to search PRs by this “first-time contributor” badge so that we can identify them as part of a PR search flow? 

Unfortunately, there isn’t a way to search for that, no. This is because a first-time contributor is a transient state that depends on multiple factors. The “first-time contributor” state would have to be calculated for each possible search result in real time. This doesn’t make for a performant database or search :grinning: