Change in the Mentoring program

Scott Kitterman ubuntu at
Mon Nov 26 13:22:56 GMT 2007

On Monday 26 November 2007 06:18, Christophe Sauthier wrote:
> I am sorry to intervene in a "MOTU" debate, but as a contributor, and
> part of the mentoring program I think I have some opinions too...

Absolutely.  I think this debate is for the entire community, not just those 
who are MOTU.

> On Nov 26, 2007 6:22 AM, Emmet Hikory <emmet.hikory at> wrote:
> > On Nov 26, 2007 10:56 AM, Scott Kitterman wrote:
> > > How many people that were involved in the program as mentees later
> > > became MOTUs?  Are there any other than you?
> I can understand your idea need of knowing the "exact" feedback for
> the MOTU team... But I think that such a process is more likely to
> give results on a long term... especially since the process to become
> a MOTU is not time-limited ...

I'm trying to understand the value of the program.  As one not involved, I 
don't see a lot of benifit to it and so I am trying to understand if there 
is, in fact, any for the community.

> >     As I feel it's important to track metrics, as otherwise it's
> > really not clear how any process changes affect things, I've reviewed
> > the available information towards drafting some numbers, with the
> > following results:
> >
> > Queue size of pending mentoring requests: unavailable from BZR
> > People receiving mentoring that have become MOTU: 3
> > People who have become MOTU since the Mentor program began: 18
> > (including the 3 above)
> > Number of current mentors: 17
> > Number of current mentees: 29
> > Date mentoring program started: 22 May 2007
> Once again, I think that these metrics are a bit distorted since I am
> not really sure that many people are able to become MOTU in less than
> 6 months (which is the lap of time since the mentoring program
> exists...).

I wouldn't say that they are distorted, but that they are reflective of the 
maturity of the program.  The number I think most useful is the one that's 
hardest to get.  I'm very curious to know how many of those 29 are on their 
way to becoming MOTUs (so far I've seen feedback on one).

> What might be interesting would be to know the number of people who
> has started to contribute since the beginning of the mentoring program
> (22 May 2007) and that became MOTU, regarding they were part of the
> program or not... and to see the evolution of that number in the next
> months (since I repeat that this is a medium term benefit, from my
> point of view).

Agreed.  That would be useful too.

> >     Just as a note, in all cases where a Mentoree became MOTU there
> > were previous uploads to the archive and previous communication with
> > the community (prior to joining the mentoring program): I do not see
> > any cases where a completely new person has requested Mentoring and
> > become a MOTU.
> I think that it was actually something needed to be part of the
> mentoring process as a mentoree : to have starting to struggle a bit
> BEFORE asking for a mentor... So it sounds reasonable for me...

Personally, I think if you struggle a bit and ask good question via IRC or 
mailing list, it's enough.

> >     Further, these numbers are from a quick review of the revision
> > notes in BZR and glancing at the current revision: it may be (and
> > likely is) that I have made mistakes, and there may be benefit to
> > someone working through revision by revision to produce more accurate
> > numbers (including such useful things as "Number of people requesting
> > mentoring who have dropped from the program").
> It is true that getting an idea on such statistics might be
> interesting... But also the reasons of the failures...

I think the other feedback that the demand for mentors outstrips the supply is 
interesting.  It shows that people believe mentoring will be helpful for 
them.  That's not quite the same thing as believing it's useful for the 
community.  Personally, I'm still not convinced.

Scott K

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