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Re: To all candidates: personal mentoring

Hi Serafeim,

On Thu, Mar 25, 2010 at 12:15:45AM +0100, Serafeim Zanikolas wrote:
> Dear candidates,
> With respect to attracting new contributors, please ponder the idea of a
> formal one-on-one mentoring scheme (as opposed to one-off interactions via
> d-mentors).

I tend to believe that what we have now, while not formally defined as
'one-on-one mentoring', in practice usually is that. As in: usually,
people get sponsored by the same (small group of) developer(s); and
usually, people in the NM queue get assigned an AM who then gets them
through the whole process.

Yes, there are exceptions; sometimes people run out of time, and cannot
finish the NM process with a particular applicant, or cannot spend the
time to check an upload before sponsoring it for an applicant. This is
only normal; we're all people who, besides Debian, do a lot of other
things (at least most of us do, *g*), and we cannot always finish what
we started.

But ignoring those exceptions, I think much of our mentoring is in fact
already one-on-one.

Having said that,

Yes, usually it's a good idea if mentors and mentees are paired up in a
semi-permanent fashion. There are several reasons for this: when you get
to deal with the same person most of the time, that means this
particular person will eventually know you and be able to mentor you
more effectively; also, it means that you're building a relationship
with that mentor, who may eventually feel comfortable advocating you for
either the DM or NM process.

But there's not much we can do beyond encouraging people to become AM
(there are always AMs needed), and/or encouraging people to recurrently
sponsor people whom they think are doing a good job, even if they're not
ready to become Debian Developer yet.

The biometric identification system at the gates of the CIA headquarters
works because there's a guard with a large gun making sure no one is
trying to fool the system.

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