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From Justin Mclean <jus...@classsoftware.com>
Subject Re: [MENTORS] Mentor guidance document
Date Thu, 22 Aug 2019 06:06:48 GMT
Hi,

> Sorry for my top post, but I have some observations about your “guide”.
> (1) It is more a mentoring FAQ than a guide.

Yep agree, and happy to change the name. I was hoping in time it could be fleshed out with
more general guidance, but that’s probably a long way off.

> (2) You are listing symptoms / policy violations.

What I’m trying to do is to map why we do things in a certain way back to ASF values. I
think part of the bigger issue here is that it hard to map abstract values to concrete actions
in a given situation if you don’t have a lot of experience. This applies to committers,
PPMC members and mentors. Meta-cognition is generally the term used, being able to take previous
learned knowledge and apply it in new contexts.

For people who know the values well it’s becomes unconscious knowledge and that make it
a) hard to pass on and b) they may be a little confused why it’s not obvious to everyone.
Experts often make poor teachers because of this.

In general for any given knowledge/skills area a lot of people are shallow learners, they
learn what they need, just before they need it, and don’t really want or need to go too
deep. This is a common attribute of adult learners. (There are of course exceptions.) Things
(which research has show) that can be done to best improve that include having the material
in multiple formats, regular feedback and staggered repetition. You’ll note that the Incubator
does provide an environment for that to happen and we generally do 2 of those 3 things well,
that not to say improvements can’t be made. I also suggest you have a look at Sharan's thesis
for some other insights, the incubator actually does a far better job than some people may
think.

> (3) It would be better to discuss what community problem is causing the particular issue
instead of putting the blame on poor mentoring.

I not so sure this is an universal issue with a single cause, the majority of podlings have
no or few issues and progress well, a few don’t and there’s different factors involved
in each case. One factor is certainly how far their development process is away from the ASF
norm. Another may be company or cultural values shared by a majority of people on the project.
However I do think that mentor education is one part of the solution.

> I’m overstating a little but I think this FAQ should tie back to solution using the
Apache Way of Governance.
> 
> (A) Consensus Decision Making on a public dev@/general@ Mailing List.
> (B) Community Growth is Recognizing all people providing value to the project as being
committed to the project. Trust these people.
> (C) Release Open Source Software following Apache Release and Distribution Policies.
> (D) Brand compliance.

Well those are all well known and easy to follow… yet we have podlings that don’t follow
these. Perhaps part of that is see above comment regards expert knowledge. :-)

Thanks,
Justin
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