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Re: mentoring programs in Debian

On 2013-03-11 23:56, Ana Guerrero wrote:
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?

I'm sure there are more possibilities that I haven't thought of yet, but I can see space for several types. For example:

- General new contributors: Recruit people and train them on how to work on topics that interest them. Even if they don't end up working on those topics permanently, it could help draw them into Debian more generally. As well as packaging and coding, these internships could cover design, documentation writing, publicity work, or any other type of Debian role.

- Targetted groups: Advertising schemes aimed at students (like GSoC) or women or retired people or any other underrepresented group can help us pull in Debian contributors from a wider pool.

- Existing contributors: Some existing contributors might want to participate in the previous type of scheme directly, to learn about a new area. But I can also imagine some team internships that are only open to existing Debian contributors, like the FTPTrainees scheme.[1] These would likely be used by teams to recruit new members, but I think they can also serve a wider purpose than that -- where time and energy is available, it's valuable just to have more people around who understand in detail the type of work done by each team.

Within each type, schemes could obviously be longer or shorter/more or less detailed/more about mentoring or shadowing, depending on the resources available.

Each of these types has been tried already in specific parts of Debian, so we should of course try to learn from those experiences in running any future wider schemes -- thanks for sharing some of your own thoughts about GSoC.


[1] https://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2012/09/msg00001.html

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