A slow day near the New Year break, calm and silent. Then I get a private message on IRC from a total stranger: he wants to know if is possible to join the Fedora design team. I start by making clear I am not part of the team currently (he supposedly saw may name on the contributors list) and then say is an open community, anyone can join, and point to the instructions on the wiki.
The guy insists in learning the name of the "maintainer", I direct him to the mailing list and #fedora-design, insist on my turn about using normal, open, channels, not people who can be busy or away for the holidays but still tell him the name of the team leader, is public information after all. He want a "chance to join", I repeat joining is open for everyone and point to the mailing list again.
Passing briefly the part about which software is used, my alarm signal is triggered by the next one "in this field coding is not need ?". I answer calmly and now, half an hour into the talk, is my time to ask "what are your skills? what do you know to do? why do you want to be part of the project?" and learn he is a college student with the hobby of doing graphic design.
Then comes the icing of the cake, his following question "after contribution , money will be got or not?" Now is crystal clear my interlocutor knows nothing about Free Software, open source, community, Fedora, Linux and such. Is the time for me to point to our homepage and tell directly we are a volunteer project (duh! we have poor wording on the front page, a poor English speaker is confused).
As a last item, he is stunned to learn I do not work for Fedora and Fedora is not a corporation hiring people. I have the feeling I won't hear from him any more and he won't post to the list. Should I call this over a half an hour wasted time or should I call it a learning experience? Anyway, my current confidence in new contributors is quite low at this minute.