[Ambassadors] New regional Ambassador Mentors

Christoph Wickert christoph.wickert at googlemail.com
Mon Nov 8 13:14:30 UTC 2010

Am Montag, den 08.11.2010, 12:31 +0100 schrieb Marcus Moeller:

> It's not only about you, Robert and Mathieu stated the same. And it's
> not specially about me, others asked to mentor, too.
> It's more about communication. Clear guidelines and statements would
> improve that a lot.

I didn't say something when this topic came up two weeks ago, but now I
feel like I need to add my two cents here:

I'm happy with *not* having clear guidelines. Why?

Clear rules will lead to the false assumption that as soon as one has
done this or that he is qualified to become a mentor. But mentoring has
much to do with soft skills like responsibility, helpfulness and
knowledge of human nature. These cannot be judged by formalized rules.
How many events does a nominee need to attend? 5, 10, 20? As you see
strict rules will lead us nowhere.

We had the same discussion in the packager group with with the 'proven
packagers'. All people who owned 8 or more packages automatically became
proven packagers. The result was that people touched others packages
without knowing what they were doing. Many long time packager became
very unhappy, thus we changed it the process: People have to apply for
proven packager membership and it is on the sponsors (and not other
proven packagers) to decide. If someone has doubts, the decision is
postponed to give the requester more time to show his knowledge and
convince people.

For the sponsors we are even more strict: The sponsors group is
invite-only. Someone from the current proven packagers or sponsors
suggests somebody for membership. This is a very elitist approach, but
as these people are the ones to guide new contributors, I think it is
right. Only people who have both knowledge (hard facts) and a good
reputation in the community (soft skills) are the qualified to guide new
contributors. They are the first contact to the project, thus they are
extremely important for us.

We already have a lot of very strict rules and it has become worse the
more rules we got. More rules and automatism will only make things
harder and lower the overall quality of our mentors. Both mentors and
sponsors should only be appointed on proposal but not by self

I know my view is very controversial. If people want to flame me, go
ahead. I'm willing to stand this as I know it is for the sake of our


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