Change in the Mentoring program

Emmet Hikory emmet.hikory at
Thu Nov 15 21:50:06 GMT 2007

On Thu, 15 Nov 2007 Cesare Tirabassi wrote:
> Before adopting this change, we would like to know how many developers would
> be willing to change to this scheme, and how many would be available to help
> out with either stage 1, stage 2 or both of them.

    I'd be willing to help with stage 1: I find that when someone
wants to help, and doesn't know how, providing them with links, and
answering simple questions isn't that difficult.  I try not to do the
work, but more provide guidance.  On the other hand, if someone
doesn't have the technical skills to reproduce a bug from a clear
description (and I can reproduce easily), cannot generate a patch
file, or the like, I'd be likely to suggest that they might want to
work on bug triage for a while, as I don't think they are ready for
stage 1.

    I'm also happy to look at stage 2, although I'd prefer to work
with someone whose interests didn't match mine very closely: it's a
lot easier to help prepare a plan for work to be done and sponsor
arrangement when I am not distracted by attempting to pass my work to
the mentee.

    My current mentee falls between these stages: quite capable of
working via email, LP, and IRC; has connections with at least active
one team; but is not yet either active enough nor reknowned enough in
the community to apply for MOTU.

On Nov 16, 2007 Scott Kitterman wrote:
> I would additionally like to propose that assigned mentors not sponsor
> changes by their mentees.  This will better integrate mentees with the MOTU
> community, reduce montor worloak, and expose hopefuls to more diverse
> inputs from more MOTUs.

    I'm not opposed to this, but use a different set of criteria: when
I've been involved in the production of a patch prior to it reaching
the sponsors queue: I consider it a conflict of interest to sponsor.
If someone I'm mentoring is generating a lot of patches for
sponsorship, many of which are good (my example would be a student on
break early this summer), and for which my guidance has been limited
to process instruction and encouragements to subscribe to the right
mailing lists and join IRC, I don't see an issue with sponsoring the

    On the other hand, if such a rule is adopted, it makes a lot more
sense to impose as a general rule "Do not upload for your mentees"
than something like "if you worked on this patch, you shouldn't
upload", or "please be sure to apply the same sponsoring guidelines to
your mentees as for anyone else", as both the latter are far too


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