RIP Mentoring Programme

Jon me at
Wed Nov 26 18:11:15 UTC 2008


Being new, I agree that the process is kind of backwards. When first 
joining, its not really obvious what has to be done or how to do it. It 
makes sense for people to hang around a bit to get a feel for who's who 
and what's what.

The only real reason I am responding to this is that Phil mentions that 
he gets few replies to his initial email. I have yet to receive an 
initial email - was I supposed to? Perhaps I am misunderstanding or 
perhaps there is a reason the replies are low if they're not being 
delivered for some reason.

I like the flow of the new page. I've been mostly poking at the wiki 
because I haven't had the time to invest to figure out what applications 
or technologies I need to learn to get into the documentation proper and 
I see some points about that on the page. I'll make use of those.



Marc Kaplan wrote:
> I happen to agree completely with this thought process, and love the
> new page.  I've just got a few suggestions of my own.  Perhaps, it
> might even help creating a new version of the Wiki To-Do List as well.
>  I'm not available to work on it at this exact moment, but I'd like to
> dabble with it over the weekend, if you don't mind?
> Marc K.
> On Wed, Nov 26, 2008 at 12:47 PM, Phil Bull <philbull at> wrote:
>> Hi guys,
>> I've not had any time to work on the mentoring programme recently, and
>> the way that it's set up requires quite a bit of initial interaction
>> with new students that I'm not currently able to provide. As such, I'm
>> proposing that we do away with the mentoring programme as-is and just
>> provide advice/feedback/mentoring as and when new contributors need it.
>> As I see it, one of the weaknesses of the mentoring programme has been
>> that we try to take students on board before they have any ideas about
>> the tasks that they can be expected to work on. Quite a few students
>> never even reply to my initial email, so providing a small initial
>> hurdle (such as having to choose a task) should discourage those who
>> aren't very serious about joining the team. The downside is that I don't
>> expect as many people to express an interest in helping out, but the
>> ones who do will hopefully be more committed from the outset.
>> I propose that we advertise tasks of varying difficulties on the wiki
>> [1] and allow people to choose one before they get in touch with us. We
>> can then collectively guide them through the course of the task,
>> providing help on the mailing list/IRC as appropriate.
>> When we advertise tasks, we should provide as much background
>> information as possible so that new contributors have a good idea of
>> what to do from the very beginning. There should be goals/milestones for
>> each task so that people have targets to work to and something to focus
>> on. I think that a more structured approach like this will help to
>> reduce the confusion that some previous students have experienced. Two
>> examples are on the wiki [1].
>> What do people think about this? Feedback/suggestions/flames more than
>> welcome.
>> Thanks,
>> Phil
>> [1] -
>> --
>> Phil Bull
>> --
>> ubuntu-doc mailing list
>> ubuntu-doc at

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