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From Ted Dunning <ted.dunn...@gmail.com>
Subject Re: [DISCUSS] Absent mentors
Date Wed, 28 Mar 2018 23:15:30 GMT
I think the problem is serious. I also think that signoff rate is a better
metric in practice than it seems it would be.

Adding the additional metric seems like a small step that could help.

Being aggressive about removing non-mentors is a very good idea. It is best
if mentors remove themselves, but it is imperative that the incubator has a
realistic idea about how many mentors there really are.



On Wed, Mar 28, 2018, 17:20 Julian Hyde <jhyde@apache.org> wrote:

> The incubator has an ongoing problem with lack of mentor engagement.
> Mentors are a crucial component of the incubation process. Incubation is
> the time when projects learn the Apache Way, and they cannot learn in a
> vacuum.
>
> I’d like to discuss possible solutions to this problem. I’d like to hear
> from both podlings (PPMC members) and from IPMC members.
>
> (By the way, it’s not just a problem for podlings. As a mentor, I am
> demoralized when I feel my co-mentors are not pulling their weight, and I
> get a little closer to burn-out.)
>
> How to detect deadbeat mentors? One solution that has been discussed
> before is counting mentor sign-offs on podlings’ quarterly reports. Any
> project that received one or two sign-offs was deemed to be doing just
> fine. This is an imperfect metric.
>
> Another remedy is to require podlings to be proactive: if they are not
> receiving adequate supervision, they should reach out to the IPMC and
> demand a change in mentors. The problem is, podlings have by definition not
> been through incubation before, so do not know what to expect. They don’t
> want to rock the boat.
>
> I propose another solution. Let’s add a question to the podling report
> template, as follows:
>
> > Have your mentors been helpful and responsive? If not, describe what
> advice or help
> > you needed, or need:
>
> It isn't too onerous for the podling, and only embarrasses mentors who
> deserve to be embarrassed.
>
> What to do about deadbeat mentors? The current thinking is that every
> project should have three mentors, and if at least one of them is active,
> that’s OK. I think that the “rule of 3” actually makes the problem worse.
> It’s difficult to find three motivated individuals (or find enough work for
> them to do), so a podling will inevitably have one or two inactive mentors.
> It has become the norm that most mentors are inactive.
>
> I propose that we get rid of the rule of 3. If mentors are not active,
> they should be encouraged to step down, and if they don’t, the IPMC should
> remove them. If this leaves the podling with zero or one mentors, then IPMC
> can step in and appoint new mentors. A podling with two active mentors is
> probably doing just fine.
>
> Is this problem as serious as I think it is? Would my proposed solutions
> help?
>
> Julian
>
>
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