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Hello GATK users,
As you know, we have been trying for the past few months to beef up support and improve documentation. This is a long game and although we'd like to think we've made some progress, there still remains a lot to be done.
One thing we're doing right now is developing teaching materials for the upcoming workshop. Even though that will only serve a portion of our user community directly, the materials will be a useful addition to the online documentation. We've also got some new documents in preparation that should help with parallelization options, as well as some frequently asked questions on a range of subjects, illustrations to clarify workflows, and a lot of updates and link fixes for the older doc articles.
All of this takes time to develop, and unfortunately, responding to questions on the forum takes time away from that.
So we're appealing to everyone of you to help us by helping others. There's a whole subset of "beginner" questions that any intermediate user could easily answer. It would be a big help if you folks could jump in and answer those questions for us whenever you can. Some of you are already doing it, and we're really thankful, because it takes some of our support burden away and frees up time for us to work on the materials that can benefit many people at once. So we'd love to see more people help in this way, and to be able to move more questions to the "Ask the Community" section (which currently houses mostly the "weird datasets" questions that we honestly don't know how to answer).
We'd be happy to consider an incentive system, by the way. We can't really offer money or anything like that, but if there's any intangible form of reward that would motivate you (leaderboards? gold stars? "expert support" coupons? big smiles and karma points?), let us know!
To anyone who's worried about the quality of community-sourced answers: we're always going to monitor every discussion, so rest assured that there won't be any decrease on quality. Who knows, there may even be an increase! ;-)
Geraldine Van der Auwera, PhD