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From Ross Gardler <>
Subject Re: New mentoring activities
Date Wed, 15 Dec 2010 10:00:40 GMT
On 15/12/2010 04:05, hareendra seneviratne wrote:
> Hi,
> I recently graduated in MIS and willing to learn and contribute to the
> community as a Software Engineer. From where can I start?

Three options, ranging in formality, least formal first:

You can do this informally, just find a project you are interested in 
and start chatting with the devs to match your skills to their needs. 
Pros - you get involved quicker, cons - it can be difficult to just 
start running like this

You can work with us here to find the project that is most likely to 
suit your needs and get an intro from us to your chosen project. Pros - 
for some this feels more comfortable Cons - we don't know all the 
projects intimately so we may not make the perfect match. We are just 
volunteers so this is not the fastest option.

You can approach the project as an independent learner where 
you will have access to teaching assistants who are paid to help guide 
you. Pros - always someone there to help you regardless of your needs. 
You'll be amongst many others in the same position as you, all facing 
the same issues and concerns. You'll still be working with the same 
mentors, but will have peers and TAs to help outside of the ASF. Cons - 
this project is in its first pilot run and is still learning how to do it.

[Note - If you would like to explore the OpenSE route then it's useful 
to know that I'm a part of the OpenSE project and will be happy to 
introduce you to one of the teaching assistants there]

> What are the
> projects or opportunuies available for me?

All the ASF projects continually mentor newcomers to their community. 
All we are doing is providing a guided route into those communities.

The first question is what are your skills?
The second is what do you want to learn from an ASF community?

Once you've answered those you can start on one of the three routes above.

> More friendly faces and some guidance needed. :)

You'll find plenty of those in the ASF.


> On Tue, Dec 14, 2010 at 7:33 PM, Ross Gardler<>  wrote:
>> On 14/12/2010 12:11, florent andré wrote:
>>> Hi Ross,
>>> I'm interested in for the Lenya project.
>>> But I'm just a commiter and I ask myself if I can be a mentor for such a
>>> program ?
>>> For sure, I could be a "friendly face" ! :)
>> "just a committer"? That means you know how the project works and have
>> commit access to the repo, so yes, you are certainly able to be a mentor.
>> Being a "friendly face" is a significant bonus.
>> Ross
>>> cced dev@lenya
>>> ++
>>> On 12/14/2010 10:25 AM, Ross Gardler wrote:
>>>> Below is the text of a mail I sent to the PMCs last night. Copied here
>>>> for information:
>>>> Over the next few weeks your project may be approached by students
>>>> participating in a European Commission funded project called OpenSE [1].
>>>> These students will be looking for GSoC style mentors in open source
>>>> projects.
>>>> The headline info you need is:
>>>> * Mentors will not need to commit as much time as they do to GSoC
>>>> * The student/mentor relationship should be largely the same as any
>>>> other relationship with someone new to your project
>>>> * Students will, in general, work on existing issues in your project,
>>>> but some may come with their own ideas
>>>> * All work by the student should be managed and recorded using your
>>>> projects normal workflow
>>>> * Students will not be full time on the project
>>>> * Students will not be paid
>>>> * Students will have external support from teachers and teaching
>>>> assistants
>>>> The key message for your project community is that this activity should
>>>> present minimal additional overhead to your normal community support
>>>> activities.
>>>> Having said that, there are a few additional, but small, tasks we ask
>>>> you to perform during the course of a mentored project:
>>>> * acknowledge your agreement to mentor a student
>>>> * provide a brief evaluation of the students activities half way through
>>>> the project cycle (around 6 weeks in most cases)
>>>> * provide a brief evaluation of the students activities at the end of
>>>> the project cycle (around 12 weeks in most cases)
>>>> Each of these activities is recorded in a JIRA issue in the ComDev
>>>> project. This issue will be created by the student during the
>>>> application process.
>>>> It is important to stress that we are not asking mentors to take any
>>>> responsibility for the success of the students work. All we ask is that
>>>> you act as a "friendly face" within your community and provide brief
>>>> evaluations as described above.
>>>> Unlike in GSoC these students will (in most cases) be doing this work as
>>>> part of their formal education. All students will have external tutors
>>>> and teaching assistants helping them. Therefore, you should only need to
>>>> help them with their direct contributions to your project (design, code
>>>> review, applying patches etc.)
>>>> Unlike in GSoC students will not be working full time on their projects
>>>> and thus the overhead on mentors will be considerably less.
>>>> The Community Development project is encouraging and supporting this
>>>> activity in an attempt to evaluate the effectiveness of this approach to
>>>> helping students understand open source development whilst bringing some
>>>> valued patches to our projects.
>>>> You can find some more information about the mentoring programme (which
>>>> will evolve in response to experiences and feedback in this experiment)
>>>> at
>>>> If you have any questions please mail (or if
>>>> you explicitly want to seek out students for your project).
>>>> If you agree to mentor a student all we ask is that you also subscribe
>>>> to the list (it's low traffic) and touch base
>>>> with us now and again to let us know how things are going.
>>>> Ross
>>>> On behalf of the Community Development Project
>>>> [1]

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