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Re: Question for candidate Towns

also sprach Anthony Towns <aj@azure.humbug.org.au> [2005.03.15.0015 +0100]:
> But in any case, you really shouldn't be offended when people
> suggest you follow the same path they did.

I am not. I also want to reiterate that this is *not* about me.
I have tons of emails in my read box by frustrated contributors or
wannabe-contributors who claim not to have the technical knowledge
to figure out how something works just from the source, but who
would prefer to work their way backwards after seeing the whole
picture once.

The question is whether we want people helping out, or people
spending their resources to figure out where to start.

> ObDPLCampaign: I do think it'd be good to be able to attract
> people to the project who aren't good at just diving into source
> files and hacking away; and I think mentoring's the way to go
> here.

I agree with you. Interestingly, this mentoring has been addressed
by quite a few of my sponsees as well as some other people
responding to my posts in private, or writing to me with issues
relating to my book. One of the most important issues that was
raised throughout is that mentoring is a great idea, but lack of
willing mentors is almost as bad as people who come across as
condescending or arrogant when (rightfully) pointing at the source
and telling people to RTFM.

Mentoring *is* the way to go. However, I think it should be the
mentors selecting the mentees, not the other way around. And in
order to be able to identify promising mentees, they need the have
a certain level of knowledge already. And it's exactly this
bootstrapping of knowledge that a lot of people seem to be missing.

I hope I am making sense. It's been a rough day and I am about to
drop dead just to wake up before the sunrise tomorrow for the

Please do not send copies of list mail to me; I read the list!
 .''`.     martin f. krafft <madduck@debian.org>
: :'  :    proud Debian developer, admin, user, and author
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