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Re: Requesting DDs who want to help greet new contributors

On Wed, 31 Jul 2013, Nicolas Guilbert wrote:

On Tuesday, July 30, 2013 12:00:18 PM Asheesh Laroia wrote:
Hi all Debianites,

I've been inspired by the "Developer Advisory Team" in another project
[1], and so I want to create a similar team within Debian. In this email,
first I'll summarize what the concept of Developer Advisory Team is, and
second I'll request help.

The stated goals are:

* Reach out to new contributors, thank them for their work and get

* Reach out to people who might be ready to apply for upload rights and
help them.

* Reach out to contributors that went inactive and get feedback from them
and offer help.

This sounds like means rather than goals to me. My guess is that the goal would be something like "create a feel-good atmosphere around and within Debian" or "get more people engaged in the development of Debian".

I think I agree with this clarification. Thank you for that!

If the latter is what we want, how about also involving some other leverages:

* promoting the mentoring principle as the official Debian way of building the community's skill pool. Mentoring is known to be the by far most efficient pedagogy [citation pending] - a perfect match for the best distribution :)

* the mentoring principle holds the promise of exponential growth, which is interesting if you can get the coefficient sufficiently far above 0 (one mentor can teach "two", who can teach "two" etc.). Pushing up the coefficient could also be achieved by contributors to the project acting increasingly as advocates for it. This advocacy could be built around narratives such as "Contributing to a project like Debian is something one can be proud of - tell that you do, what you do, why you do it and encourage others to do it."

Social engineering can also be quite efficient :)


I agree that mentoring is often very effective. One of the key elements I find missing in mentoring, however, is the work to establish a relationship between mentor and mentee that leads to them having meaningful discussions rather than not asking each other questions.

As for your "citation pending" -- clarifying this sort of thing is one of the goals of this project. One plan that Mako and I came up with that since at first, we may not have enough bandwidth to ping everyone, we can see if those who we *do* manage to reach become more active in the project than the people we do get around to pinging.

I'm excited by the warm reception to the ideas here! I'll work with David Lu on fixing more our bugs, and y'all will hear more from us soon. (And if that's not soon enough, http://lists.openhatch.org/mailman/listinfo/greenhouse + https://github.com/openhatch/oh-greenhouse + #openhatch on freenode!)

-- Asheesh.

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