Re: Four days
On Mon, 4 Oct 2010, Ben Finney wrote:
Michael Gilbert <email@example.com> writes:
As someone who has attempted to go through the mentoring process, I
agree very much that it is rather depressing.
How much of that is actually a problem, though? How much is an integral
part of gaining humility as to the state of the packaging work, and the
pain of learning new conventions and processes?
I'm all in favour of lowering *unnecessary* barriers. But not at the
expense of the necessary parts of the mentoring process itself: to teach
prospective maintainers to stand on their own feet and learn what
doesn't work, as a necessary part of learning what does work.
So when we identify a point of pain, I think it's essential to ask: is
this pain necessary to the learning process for this person?
Ben, I'm not sure what you're saying. It sounds like you're saying, "The
silent treatment is a useful way to teach people humility."
I think that our silence teaches a terror based on the unpredictability of
response on the list. By not responding to people's emails, we create the
perception that our prospective mentees are not in control over the
outcome of a situation. A related concept in psychology is "learned
helplessness", which you can read about at
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Learned_helplessness if you want.
Often, we don't provide enough feedback to people to say what the problems
are; so they don't know how to improve things. Even if the problem is just
"Debian developers are too busy," at least prospective mentees know the
problem isn't (necessarily) their package -- they now need to get better
at finding prospective mentors. Maybe they can reach out to their local
community instead, or they can read the Debian wiki harder and discover
teams relevant to their package.
Anyway, it's just something Niels and I (and anyone else who wants to) are
committed to. If you don't want to send any extra emails to the list,
that's totally fine with me. The point of this thread is to tell mentees
that they can expect a response within four days. It might be from me, or
Niels, or anyone else, but my goal is that they'll get one. It doesn't
create any extra work for you.
If you find that the emails I send to the list are off-topic or otherwise
bad for the list, then by all means let me know and I'll work to improve
I hope I've explained a little bit what I mean. It's 1 a.m., so I'm not
entirely confident. I hope this email comes off with the positive attitude
that I intend it to!
You're not drunk if you can lie on the floor without holding on.
-- Dean Martin
- Four days
- From: Asheesh Laroia <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Re: Four days
- From: Michael Gilbert <email@example.com>
- Re: Four days
- From: Ben Finney <firstname.lastname@example.org>