[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: mentoring programs in Debian

On 12/03/13 at 14:14 +0100, Ana Guerrero wrote:
> Hi Russ,
> On Mon, Mar 11, 2013 at 03:03:42PM -0700, Russ Allbery wrote:
> > Ana Guerrero <ana@debian.org> writes:
> > 
> > > - For some DDs in previous years, this seemed to be a way to have students
> > >   doing stuff from their TODO lists...
> > 
> > Just a quick note on this part: I don't think this is inherently a bad
> > idea, although of course it should be something the student is also
> > excited about.  But I remember what I was like when I was in high school:
> > I really wanted to program, but I was horrible at coming up with useful
> > things to do.  I needed a good problem stream that I could work on and
> > then I enjoyed finding ways to solve the problems.  Not everyone is like
> > that, of course, but I do think there are people out there who just want
> > to put skills to use and learn how to do new things but don't know how to
> > select good and useful problems to work on.
> > 
> > On the general topic of mentoring, though, I think one of the hardest
> > parts of helping new people join the project is that people need to start
> > with relatively easy tasks so that they can get their feet wet.  That
> > often means that one needs to step back and let new people do things that
> > are easy for the mentor, which in turn means leaving easy work undone for
> > long enough to give people a chance to do it.
> I see your point. In these cases, the "mentor" was more treating the GSoC
> program as a bounty program or a way to have "contractors" paid at the expense
> of somebody else. It wasn't a real mentoring scheme.
> This kind of mentoring "let's package this new software stack" (and create
> a team to maintain it, when it doesn't exist) doesn't need to happen inside
> the GSoC, it can happen already in Debian.

Nothing really needs to happen inside GSoC. But GSoC provide several
- there's a rigid framework (deadlines, etc) that help the student organize
  and focus
- the student gets paid by Google
- the student gets to mention both Debian and Google on his CV, which is
  probably seen positively by future recruiters.

Reply to: