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Re: My adventures with NM - part 5a (T&S)

Ar 30/12/2004 am 13:11, ysgrifennodd Helen Faulkner:
> So, to finish up, here are my thoughts of the week:
> - I wonder how many NM people are so stressed by the whole exercise, at 
> some point, that they go stressing to their AM (thanks Frank), their 
> sponsor (thanks Ben), and anyone else who will listen (thanks #debian-women 
> people). I wonder whether this is suprising to the AMs and the sponsors, 
>  or not...

I wonder how many people are so stressed by the whole excercise that
they quietly give up and are given up on by their Application Manager.
My impression is that this happens fairly often.

> - I wonder how people manage who don't know who they can ask questions of 
> when they get stuck?  Surely there aren't many people who can get the 
> answers to everything by themselves.  I guess that this is good for letting 
> people learn how to ask people for help when they are stuck, which I am 
> realising is a really important skill for Debian Developers.

I absolutely agree that the willingness to go and ask for help is
important for people involved in Debian. There is such a huge amount of
specialised knowledge involved in contributing, and even when it is
documented it can be difficult to find the bit you need.

I think this is also part of a more general principle: that people
contribute best to Debian when they have opportunities to socialise with
other Debian people. Doing so is important for many reasons: it gives
you a chance to learn things which aren't written down, to find people
who can help you with your problems, to find new opportunities to use
your skills, and of course to form new friendships. Not to mention
becoming accustomed to asking questions when you're stuck.

There are a lot of Debian practices, customs, history etc. that aren't
documented anywhere, but I think the importance of oral transferral of
knowledge is underestimated in the community.

I worry that there is a perception that it is not OK to ask questions,
or at least that you should only do so as a final desperate measure when
you've tried everything else. Also, that admitting ignorance or having
made a mistake is likely to cause you problems. And I also worry that
these perceptions are true.

> - I wonder whether there are ways to approach this thing so it is less 
> stressful than I have been finding it over the last few weeks...

I think giving Debian a more forgiving atmosphere would go some way
towards making the process less stressful. What do you think?


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