Mentoring update.

June 12, 2007

A few months ago, right around the time that the Launchpad beta page introduced mentoring, I wrote post about an offer to mentor. I put a bug report up on Launchpad and got some great responses. I emailed away everyone who had an email address that was interested and did get one person who stayed interested. As I examined myself as a mentor, I feel I did a good job (someone ask Jen becuase I’m afraid of the answer 🙂 .) More importantly, I feel this type of collaboration should be going on in the community. In many ways, I stayed around in the community because Richard (a.k.a. nixternal) helped me get started on bugs, contribute to the LoCo and more or less show me the ropes. Jono Bacon once said something in his Herding Cats talk something to the effect of “putting a webpage up and contact information doesn’t build community, it just gives people a place to look.” Not his exact words, I listened to the talk several months ago, but its true. The pages we have for bug work give us a good guide but they don’t really help build a great team rather they give the team guidelines. Having an IRC channel won’t make a team great, but rather collaborating and working hard while enjoying themselves will.

Anyways, back to mentoring. Mentoring is a great way to help bring someone in and make them familiar with what they are doing. My post about bughelper might be a good start but it won’t answer all the questions Jen may have had while writing the clue file for Firefox. Only over several hours of Q & A spread over a few weeks was she able to understand better the details of what we were doing. The result we (mostly Jen with my guidance) were able to build a clue file that originally took about 3 crashes to one that looked for over 25. We probably won’t have to touch the clue file for a while, unless it is to take fixed bugs out and should help our work flow a better. Today, I ran across a bug and asked Jen to build a new clue file and she went ahead and did it. So now dansguardian has a new clue file, and bughelper-data should benefit from it. Now there are more people working toward the greater good. Mentoring works.

One comment

  1. Freddy, thanks for this post. I am currently trying to get involved in UBUNTU myself, and have had trouble breaking into the community. My LoCo Team is pretty dead, there isn’t much activity there, and the few places I posted inquiries have also come up dead. Jono and Mako were my starting points, because I wanted to become a contributing official Ubuntu member, however, I have yet to find a starting place.
    If you have the time and are interested, I would love to chat with you more on this, and perhaps you can show me someplace I can start contributing. Ideally having a mentor would be the best place to start, since my only contributions so far have been forum and blog posts. I’d like to get into bug-fixing and coding, if at all possible.

    – Mike

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