If you are just getting started with Backdrop CMS and are looking for a quick overview of how to engage with the community, consider this your primer.
Where to start?
Zulip is our chat channel and a relatively easy way to dip your toes into the community. There is frequent chatter going on here, and it's a good place to find someone if you want to connect right away. Drop in to ask questions about anything related to Backdrop, or just to say "hello"! This is also the place where we can share what we are working on at the moment, get quick feedback, pointers or tips, and see what the rest of the community is currently busy with. You may ask support-related questions in Zulip, but we recommend using the forum for that instead.
Our forum is a great place to ask for support. While you might get an answer to your support question a little quicker in Zulip, the forum acts as our support archive, and is an excellent tool for outreach and growing our community. Discussions in the forum are easily searchable, and the trail of questions as well as any replies or discussion that it generates may be of use to others in the future. The forum is active enough that, although there are no guarantees, your question is likely to get answered within hours. The likelihood of getting a quick reply depends upon the difficulty of your question. One way that even beginners can contribute to Backdrop CMS is to ask their questions in the forum, where the answers will be documented and archived for all future Backdrop CMS users. I sometimes ask a question in the forum, and then answer it myself (both to share the answer with others, and so that is it there for me the next time I have the same problem). Feel free to open an issue in the forum, and then follow up with posting a link to the issue in Zulip, to draw attention to it.
The issue queue is where the real work of Backdrop CMS happens. If you have a bug report, or a feature request, or an idea on how to improve outreach - this is where to start. If you want to contribute to Backdrop CMS, you can always find a task that needs attention in the issue queue(s). Unfortunately, we have quite a few different issue queues, which may make it hard to figure out which one to use. Some issues queues are more technical, and some are full of issues and discussions for the general community.
This is where you report bugs and request new features in Backdrop CMS core. If you have opinions or ideas about how to make Backdrop CMS better, this is where you can express yourself, and newcomers are always welcome. Do not be shy about posting your thoughts on a new feature, or suggesting a solution for a long-standing bug. Look for issues with the label "Needs more feedback", and then chime in on whatever proposal is being discussed at the time. Check the label "PR - Needs Testing" to help us test Pull Requests and move them forward. You don't need to be an advanced developer to help test issues and report back. In fact, we make use of automated "sandbox" sites, so you won't even have to install anything on your computer or server. All you need to do is log into these test sites, and then report if the problem we are trying to solve is indeed fixed, or share ideas on how any new feature we are working on may be improved further.
Every contrib project has its own dedicated issue queue, and you can find them all here. This is where you report bugs related to contrib projects and request new features. You can even use this issue queue to post words of encouragement and/or thanks to the volunteers that maintain your favorite module or theme.
This is where you report problems or share your ideas about our main website. It is also the place where we post general issues about promoting Backdrop CMS, and how to grow our community. If you are not comfortable contributing code and looking for a way to get involved, browse through this issue queue and find a topic that interests you.
Bookmark this link, because you will need it next time you are trying to remember where the various issue queues can be found.
Virtual User Group
Our goal is to host a Virtual User Group meeting at least once a month; sometimes more. Virtual User Groups are usually hosted on Zoom, and they are recorded for folks to watch later. However, we really appreciate people showing up, participating, and asking questions during the live meetings. Virtual User Groups are targeted at the broader Backdrop community, and are usually focused on how to better use Backdrop CMS, or on providing tips on building your Backdrop CMS site. We look at contrib modules, core features, and tools that help you get the most out of your Backdrop CMS site.
Our Weekly Virtual Meetings
While our Virtual User Group meetings are about how to use Backdrop, these are the business meetings about making Backdrop better and building the community. We have online meetings every week to discuss various projects, initiatives, and work being done in the community. We welcome newcomers at these live meetings and provide time for questions on each agenda. These meetings are recorded and streamed live on YouTube, but try not to let that discourage you from participation. We'd love to see your face and hear your voice at an upcoming meeting.
Our video archive of past meetings: