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Debian Women Mentors Program - mentors wanted...

Hi Everyone,

At the last IRC meeting we talked about setting up a mentoring program within Debian Women, to help people learn the things they need to contribute more to Debian. Learning technical skills is part of it, but people can also benefit from mentoring in more general things, such as how to best communicate with Debian people, given what you are trying to do, how to find the information that you need, and so on. Through mentoring systems, people can also get the chance to learn more about the Debian community and how it functions socially. In general, it really helps to have someone around that you know you can ask questions of, or who can help you to feel more confident when you are doing something that is difficult :)

So, the general idea goes like this:

- We will start a mentoring program within the Debian Women project that aims to match more experienced people who want to help less experienced people learn how to do things.

- We will do this by collecting a list of potential mentors and their areas of interest, and posting the list to a webpage (we haven't made the webpage yet - watch this space...).

- Then people who are interested in doing particular kinds of things can look at the list to see what kinds of things are available, and email us to be matched to someone who is willing to help them to learn how to do that particular kind of thing.

The kinds of mentoring areas that I have in mind are things like the following list. Other people will have more ideas than this, I am sure...

- writing and correctly submitting good bug reports

- fixing bugs and submitting patches to the BTS

- translating (particular languages? learning to use the translation tools? ...)

- packaging particular types of packages (kde packages, gnome packages, games, libraries, your first package, a hard package, ...)

- writing documentation

- working on the Debian websites

- name whatever it is that you do or are interested in here...

At this stage, I would like to call for people who are interested in being mentors to email me with a list of the areas that they are interested in helping with. I think this kind of thing is a great way to get to know someone who is interested in learning about whatever it is you are into doing with Debian. The amount of time you want to give to something like this is up to you - it wouldn't neccessarily have to be a great deal of time. Mentoring can happen at many different levels, so please don't be put off by the sense that you don't yet know enough if you have something to teach and you want to teach someone, let me know!

We're hoping to get the webpage together in the next few days, at which stage we'll be asking people who are interested in being matched with a mentor to let us know, and we'll go from there....

This whole idea is a bit of an experiment - a way to get things going that are similar to what is happening in the IRC channel, but in a slightly more organised way. So we will be working out the best way to work things as we go, and we are certainly happy to hear from people who have suggestions.

The summary:  Watch this space for more action soon, but if you are
willing to mentor someone, please email me to let me know about it...

Helen :)

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