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mentoring programs in Debian

[Some sort-of thread hijacking]

Hi folks,

I see this thread going nowhere and it's a pity because discussing new
ways to integrate contributors in Debian is a topic worth discussing.

I have been involved in GSoC in the editions 2011 and 2012 and in
Code-in 2011. Besides that, I mentored a now DD inside the Debian Women
mentoring program. All those mentoring programs were *very* different
therefore producing different results. And I'm sure we can use more 
schemes of recruiting/attracting new contributors.

The question I would love to see answered by you both is:
What new schemes of mentoring/integrating new contributors do you
envisage we could try in Debian?

Some notes about GSoC and packaging projects that was IMHO uselessly
discussed in this thread.  In previous years we didn't accept packaging
 projects in GSoC for several reasons:

- We already have some sort of mentoring program in Debian for people
wanting to package: debian-mentors list and the website.

- Something that is packaged needs later a maintainer.

- Packaging something you don't use sucks. This is linked to the
previous point: possibility of keep the maintenance later of something
you don't use...

- For some DDs in previous years, this seemed to be a way to have students
doing stuff from their TODO lists...

- Sometimes packaging works need waiting in third parties (e.g. license
clarification) and this can not be done in the scope of the GSoC. We must
avoid at all cost a project were the student lost their time waiting
for somebody else.

- Google's program is mostly about code. They are on purpose vague about
this and don't enforce it strongly, but the student needs to upload to
Google's server their code at the end of the summer. My interpretation
of this is the project doesn't need to be 100% coding but it must have
some coding part. In this regard we have some projects last year where
the student needed to write patches.

If you check last year project list, we offered a project that fitted
in the "packaging project" category because we were told by the
mentor-to-be that the project included coding. We gave the mentor
the benefit of the doubt, but when we saw the student's proposal
themselves, it actually didn't have enough coding within it and they
weren't very good, so we didn't have this project even if it's still 


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