How to be a successful contributor

Greg DeKoenigsberg greg.dekoenigsberg at
Sun Jul 11 16:36:00 UTC 2010

On Sun, Jul 11, 2010 at 11:54 AM, susmit shannigrahi <
thinklinux.ssh at> wrote:

> > So, in effect, where we say "incredibly difficult to find a mentor", what
> we
> > should be asking ourselves is "why is it difficult to find a mentor and
> more
> > importantly, what can we do about it?". A solution as simple as a wiki
> page
> > listing mentors and their location (physical proximity helps) might just
> solve
> > that problem.
> Such listings for important teams will be very helpful for new people.
> On the other hand, mentors *will* be inundated by mentoring requests.
> So, a balanced approach, such as a task list as a first filter and
> then proceeding with mentoring may be suitable.

We've tried this approach in the past -- but mentor/mentee relationships are
a lot more complex than one party saying "hey, will you be my mentor?" and
the other party saying "sure."

I think that if we look closely at Fedora, we will find that most mentorship
is organic, and arises when a busy mentor sees an opportunity to offload
work to someone who has shown an aptitude for that same work.  But the
"mentee" first has to demonstrate that aptitude.

I continue to think that concentrating on ideas like OpenHatch is the way to
go.  Focus on the work, and the mentorship will follow.  It's way easier to
mentor someone when they say "I'm trying to do X, and when I do Y, Z
happens, why isn't it doing Q?" is way easier than mentoring someone when
they say "hi, I want to be a contributor, what do I do now?"

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