Change in the Mentoring program

Emmet Hikory emmet.hikory at
Sat Nov 24 11:33:37 GMT 2007

On Nov 24, 2007 7:37 PM, Matt Zimmerman <mdz at> wrote:
> It's a bit too abstract for me to provide much comment, as it's not clear
> how this would change things significantly.  Is the idea to provide separate
> documentation resources?  To recruit different groups of people to help with
> the two stages?  How would the approach differ in practice?  Can you
> describe the proposed changes in more detail?

    The current mentoring program provides for one-on-one support for
new people interested in development through their acceptance into
MOTU.  This process often takes six months or more, as they develop
proficiency with the tools and become known to the community.  Mentors
often find the initial introduction to tools, teams, and principles a
busy time, but as the Contributor becomes more familiar, there is less
requirement for direct coordination.  As the Contributor nears
application to MOTU, there is again coordination with the Mentor, to
make sure that the preparation for the application is complete,
including the demonstration of previous efforts, the arrangement of
sponsors, and the development of a plan for the "Future Goals" portion
of the application.  The current volume of mentoring requests is in
excess of the curent volume of mentors, and there is significant
backlog in providing mentoring, although many Mentors are relatively
idle.  In an attempt to reduce the influx of mentoring requests,
Mentoring Reception had instituted a policy that new applicants should
gain a little experience (perhaps one fix) first, but this may be
difficult for those who need introduction to the community and

    The proposal is to separate these two times when Contribors seek
mentoring into two distinct stages, with separated tracking by
Mentoring Reception.  By doing so, it is hoped that the available
mentor slots will cycle faster, reducing backlog.  In terms of support
for those seeking Mentoring, there should be little change, as each
mentoring stage should be completed by mutual consent of Mentor and
Mentee, although a given Contributor may receive two different Mentors
during the two stages.  In terms of those offering Mentoring, there
should be a more constant expected workload, with the removal of the
possibly long period between inital community acceptance and the
planning of MOTU application.  In terms of the changes to Mentoring
Reception, there would be two lists of mentoring slots, with each
tracked separately.

    To answer your specific questions: documentation of process &
tools would remain consolidated.  Most mentors would be expected to
take a mix of Stage 1 and Stage 2 mentees, although there may be
individual variation.  The primary difference in practice is that once
a Mentee was accepted into the community as a Contributor, the
assigned mentor would become available for another mentee.  If a
Contributor sought additional mentoring prior to MOTU application,
such mentoring would be available, and assigned at that time.

    The original proposal, including a description of the current
state, goals for the change, and specific implementation details is
available from the mailing list archives (1).



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