Lucas Nussbaum | 11 Mar 16:42 2013
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to Moray: encourage teams to take interns

Hi Moray,

In your platform, you give that specific idea:

   Besides the great work of debian-mentors/mentors.debian.net, it might
   be good to provide more ways to learn about how to contribute to
   Debian. One possibility would be to encourage teams to take interns,
   perhaps for a summer period like GSoC, and give them tasks that they
   can learn from. While it's usual for interns to create more work for
   existing team members rather than reduce it, this could help recruit
   new long-term contributors for Debian even where people don't
   continue afterwards in the specific teams – finding a first way to
   contribute and enter the community is often a difficult step.

I am not sure how it would differ from GSoC? What different problem will
this solve?

Also, we often have problems finding ideas for GSoC. Do you think that
we can find enough ideas+mentors for another program?

Lucas

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Moray Allan | 11 Mar 17:28 2013

Re: to Moray: encourage teams to take interns

On 2013-03-11 18:42, Lucas Nussbaum wrote:
> In your platform, you give that specific idea:
>
> I am not sure how it would differ from GSoC? What different problem 
> will
> this solve?

Apart from the obvious differences of control etc., GSoC is 
fundamentally about writing a significant piece of code.  See
http://www.google-melange.com/document/show/gsoc_program/google/gsoc2013/help_page

Only a fairly small proportion of Debian work is about writing 
significant pieces of code.  Currently GSoC doesn't even cover normal 
packaging work, let alone more coordination-type activities, see e.g.
https://lists.debian.org/debian-science/2013/03/msg00012.html

My proposal would allow us to offer internships like "work with the 
Ruby team and learn about packaging" or "work with the release team and 
learn about Debian processes".

See https://wiki.debian.org/DebianMed/MoM for an existing initiative of 
this type in Debian.

> Also, we often have problems finding ideas for GSoC. Do you think 
> that
> we can find enough ideas+mentors for another program?

I think it's much easier to offer "come and help in our team" than to 
think up a coding project that a student could plausibly do during a 
GSoC project to help Debian, that's not too easy or too hard, and that 
(Continue reading)

Lucas Nussbaum | 11 Mar 17:44 2013
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Re: to Moray: encourage teams to take interns

On 11/03/13 at 19:28 +0300, Moray Allan wrote:
> On 2013-03-11 18:42, Lucas Nussbaum wrote:
> >In your platform, you give that specific idea:
> >
> >I am not sure how it would differ from GSoC? What different
> >problem will
> >this solve?
> 
> Apart from the obvious differences of control etc., GSoC is
> fundamentally about writing a significant piece of code.  See
> http://www.google-melange.com/document/show/gsoc_program/google/gsoc2013/help_page
> 
> Only a fairly small proportion of Debian work is about writing
> significant pieces of code.  Currently GSoC doesn't even cover
> normal packaging work, let alone more coordination-type activities,
> see e.g.
> https://lists.debian.org/debian-science/2013/03/msg00012.html
> 
> My proposal would allow us to offer internships like "work with the
> Ruby team and learn about packaging" or "work with the release team
> and learn about Debian processes".
> 
> See https://wiki.debian.org/DebianMed/MoM for an existing initiative
> of this type in Debian.

I see. Interesting. But in
https://lists.debian.org/debian-science/2013/03/msg00012.html, the "no
packaging work" rule seems to come from the Debian GSoC team, and at
least Sylvestre seems open to modifying it.

(Continue reading)

Moray Allan | 11 Mar 18:07 2013

Re: to Moray: encourage teams to take interns

On 2013-03-11 19:44, Lucas Nussbaum wrote:
> I see. Interesting. But in
> https://lists.debian.org/debian-science/2013/03/msg00012.html, the 
> "no
> packaging work" rule seems to come from the Debian GSoC team, and at
> least Sylvestre seems open to modifying it.

It "comes from" from how they have understood the GSoC rules -- I would 
suggest you read the GSoC pages, e.g. start from
http://www.google-melange.com/document/show/gsoc_program/google/gsoc2013/help_page
that I mentioned before.  Besides the explicit rules, see e.g. the 
timeline in
http://www.google-melange.com/document/show/gsoc_program/google/gsoc2013/help_page#2._What_is_the_program_timeline
which is clearly designed around regular coding projects.

Or see e.g.
http://www.google-melange.com/document/show/gsoc_program/google/gsoc2013/help_page#12._Are_proposals_for_documentation_work
which definitively rules out documentation projects.

> Probably the goals would need to be a bit more S.M.A.R.T than just 
> "work
> with the ruby team and learn about packaging", but things such as:
> "prepare all packages for the transition to ruby 2.0" could work.

I would agree that some types of packaging projects can perhaps get 
approved under GSoC, if they can wait to fit into the GSoC timeline, and 
if it won't be a disaster if the student doesn't produce a good result, 
etc.

Nevertheless, I think it would be useful for us to have some wider kind 
(Continue reading)

Lucas Nussbaum | 11 Mar 20:14 2013
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Re: to Moray: encourage teams to take interns

On 11/03/13 at 20:07 +0300, Moray Allan wrote:
> On 2013-03-11 19:44, Lucas Nussbaum wrote:
> >I see. Interesting. But in
> >https://lists.debian.org/debian-science/2013/03/msg00012.html, the
> >"no
> >packaging work" rule seems to come from the Debian GSoC team, and at
> >least Sylvestre seems open to modifying it.

(Oops, I missed the fact that Sylvestre is not an admin of Debian's GSoC
for the 2013 edition.)

> It "comes from" from how they have understood the GSoC rules -- I
> would suggest you read the GSoC pages, e.g. start from
> http://www.google-melange.com/document/show/gsoc_program/google/gsoc2013/help_page
> that I mentioned before.  Besides the explicit rules, see e.g. the
> timeline in
> http://www.google-melange.com/document/show/gsoc_program/google/gsoc2013/help_page#2._What_is_the_program_timeline
> which is clearly designed around regular coding projects.
> 
> Or see e.g.
> http://www.google-melange.com/document/show/gsoc_program/google/gsoc2013/help_page#12._Are_proposals_for_documentation_work
> which definitively rules out documentation projects.

We can try to second-guess Google's motivations for excluding
documentation to determine if it also applies to packaging, or we can
just ask, which I have done:
https://groups.google.com/forum/?hl=en&fromgroups=#!topic/google-summer-of-code-discuss/X9UmGnR6cZI

We will see :)

(Continue reading)

Lucas Nussbaum | 11 Mar 20:30 2013
Picon

Re: to Moray: encourage teams to take interns

On 11/03/13 at 20:14 +0100, Lucas Nussbaum wrote:
> We can try to second-guess Google's motivations for excluding
> documentation to determine if it also applies to packaging, or we can
> just ask, which I have done:
> https://groups.google.com/forum/?hl=en&fromgroups=#!topic/google-summer-of-code-discuss/X9UmGnR6cZI
> 
> We will see :)

Reply:

On 11/03/13 at 12:13 -0700, Carol Smith wrote:
> Firstly, we don't know if Debian is participating in this year's program.
> I'd recommend you wait until we've announced accepted orgs for these sorts
> of questions. Secondly, if you have questions like this once we've accepted
> organizations, I'd recommend you reach out directly to the org to discuss
> your project idea.

Not very conclusive... but one could read it as "it's fine to discuss such
ideas with the project, so it means that such ideas won't be rejected upfront".

Lucas

Moray Allan | 11 Mar 20:41 2013

Re: to Moray: encourage teams to take interns

On 2013-03-11 22:14, Lucas Nussbaum wrote:
> We can try to second-guess Google's motivations for excluding
> documentation to determine if it also applies to packaging, or we can
> just ask, which I have done:
> 
> https://groups.google.com/forum/?hl=en&fromgroups=#!topic/google-summer-of-code-discuss/X9UmGnR6cZI

OK, but you've again ignored the substantive points in my reply in 
favour of this specific issue.

To be clear:

I mentioned in passing that GSoC doesn't even seem to cover packaging, 
but it absolutely definitely does not cover a large proportion of Debian 
activities.  For example, documentation would be a perfectly valid 
activity for a Debian internship, as would be, for example, any 
coordination activity.  I also mentioned previously that in some cases 
they could be used to let people learn from "shadowing" activity, 
whereas the GSoC model is about the student working on a project and 
presenting the code at the end.

And GSoC absolutely definitely only covers a rather narrow segment of 
the population.

I am not trying to criticise GSoC or say it's flawed, just to explain 
why we might indeed want something more than only GSoC.

--

-- 
Moray

(Continue reading)

Lucas Nussbaum | 11 Mar 21:26 2013
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Re: to Moray: encourage teams to take interns

On 11/03/13 at 22:41 +0300, Moray Allan wrote:
> On 2013-03-11 22:14, Lucas Nussbaum wrote:
> >We can try to second-guess Google's motivations for excluding
> >documentation to determine if it also applies to packaging, or we can
> >just ask, which I have done:
> >
> >https://groups.google.com/forum/?hl=en&fromgroups=#!topic/google-summer-of-code-discuss/X9UmGnR6cZI
> 
> OK, but you've again ignored the substantive points in my reply in
> favour of this specific issue.
> 
> To be clear:
> 
> I mentioned in passing that GSoC doesn't even seem to cover
> packaging, but it absolutely definitely does not cover a large
> proportion of Debian activities.  For example, documentation would
> be a perfectly valid activity for a Debian internship, as would be,
> for example, any coordination activity.  I also mentioned previously
> that in some cases they could be used to let people learn from
> "shadowing" activity, whereas the GSoC model is about the student
> working on a project and presenting the code at the end.
> 
> And GSoC absolutely definitely only covers a rather narrow segment
> of the population.
> 
> I am not trying to criticise GSoC or say it's flawed, just to
> explain why we might indeed want something more than only GSoC.

Note that I did not comment (or "ignored", as you put it) on some points
in your reply only because I agreed with them.
(Continue reading)

Moray Allan | 11 Mar 22:25 2013

Re: to Moray: encourage teams to take interns

On 2013-03-11 23:26, Lucas Nussbaum wrote:
> Note that I did not comment (or "ignored", as you put it) on some 
> points
> in your reply only because I agreed with them.

(Thank you for clarifying; I didn't detect agreement from your reply.)

> Still, given that GSoC exists, I find it useful to explore whether we
> can use it for more (types of) projects than we do now. The fact that
> we explore such opportunities doesn't prevent us from discussing or
> creating our own internship program.

Indeed.

> Btw, in your opinion, should this internship program include a 
> stipend,
> like GSoC?

When I wrote my platform I was not thinking of a full-time summer[1] 
program or of something targetted at students.  So I was envisaging 
part-time "internships" without stipend, probably just arranged ad-hoc 
by teams.  I think we would have volunteer interns for these even 
without payment, from people new to Debian and from existing project 
contributors.

If there was general support then we could look at organising a funded 
program, but I would need a lot of persuasion before wanting to get into 
the question of Debian picking specific individuals to pay for their 
work while everyone else is unpaid volunteers.[2]

(Continue reading)

Charles Plessy | 12 Mar 07:45 2013
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Re: to Moray: encourage teams to take interns

Le Mon, Mar 11, 2013 at 08:07:40PM +0300, Moray Allan a écrit :
> 
> Nevertheless, I think it would be useful for us to have some wider
> kind of internship scheme, for the huge proportion of Debian
> activity that definitely will not fit under the current GSoC rules.

Hi Moray,

I have a question: could you comment on the differences, complementarity, or
overlap between such an internship and the NM process, which already has
extensive questions about packaging.  My personal experience is that when I
went through the NM process I learned a lot through the exchanges with my AM,
to the point that I felt it close to be a "kind of internship sheme"...

Lucas and Gergely, you are of course free to comment if you wish.

Cheers,

-- 
Charles

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Moray Allan | 12 Mar 09:59 2013

Re: to Moray: encourage teams to take interns

On 2013-03-12 09:45, Charles Plessy wrote:
> I have a question: could you comment on the differences, 
> complementarity, or
> overlap between such an internship and the NM process, which already 
> has
> extensive questions about packaging.  My personal experience is that 
> when I
> went through the NM process I learned a lot through the exchanges 
> with my AM,
> to the point that I felt it close to be a "kind of internship 
> sheme"...

I agree that often in the NM process there is a form of mentoring.  We 
also have packaging mentoring through debian-mentors.  In addition, we 
already have existing structured schemes in Debian like 
https://wiki.debian.org/DebianMed/MoM and 
http://www.debian.org/women/mentoring besides of course GSoC.

For the NM process itself, though, I would note that over the years 
Front Desk have tended to increase how ready they would like people to 
be before starting.  The ideal in the NM process is seen to be that 
someone is already clearly ready to be a Debian member, and that the 
process is just a formality.  And that's not just a recent change -- 
back when I was first an AM, it was recognised that some applicants 
wanted the process to be much more of a mentoring one than it was -- in 
some cases, people hope they can apply for membership without knowing at 
all yet what they want to do in Debian, and be guided into an 
appropriate role.

Even if we made the NM process more heavily a mentoring scheme, it 
(Continue reading)

Moray Allan | 11 Mar 17:34 2013

Re: to Moray: encourage teams to take interns

On 2013-03-11 18:42, Lucas Nussbaum wrote:
> Also, we often have problems finding ideas for GSoC.

Oh, and I forgot to say here:

This year's deadline for GSoC project ideas is only a week away, on 
Monday 18 March.

I very much encourage everyone reading to think hard about ideas and 
add new proposals to the list at
http://wiki.debian.org/SummerOfCode2013/Projects

For more details, see
https://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2013/02/msg00007.html

--

-- 
Moray

Ana Guerrero | 11 Mar 21:56 2013
Picon

mentoring programs in Debian

[Some sort-of thread hijacking]

Hi folks,

I see this thread going nowhere and it's a pity because discussing new
ways to integrate contributors in Debian is a topic worth discussing.

I have been involved in GSoC in the editions 2011 and 2012 and in
Code-in 2011. Besides that, I mentored a now DD inside the Debian Women
mentoring program. All those mentoring programs were *very* different
therefore producing different results. And I'm sure we can use more 
schemes of recruiting/attracting new contributors.

The question I would love to see answered by you both is:
What new schemes of mentoring/integrating new contributors do you
envisage we could try in Debian?

Some notes about GSoC and packaging projects that was IMHO uselessly
discussed in this thread.  In previous years we didn't accept packaging
 projects in GSoC for several reasons:

- We already have some sort of mentoring program in Debian for people
wanting to package: debian-mentors list and the website.

- Something that is packaged needs later a maintainer.

- Packaging something you don't use sucks. This is linked to the
previous point: possibility of keep the maintenance later of something
you don't use...

(Continue reading)

Russ Allbery | 11 Mar 23:03 2013
Picon

Re: mentoring programs in Debian

Ana Guerrero <ana@...> writes:

> - For some DDs in previous years, this seemed to be a way to have students
>   doing stuff from their TODO lists...

Just a quick note on this part: I don't think this is inherently a bad
idea, although of course it should be something the student is also
excited about.  But I remember what I was like when I was in high school:
I really wanted to program, but I was horrible at coming up with useful
things to do.  I needed a good problem stream that I could work on and
then I enjoyed finding ways to solve the problems.  Not everyone is like
that, of course, but I do think there are people out there who just want
to put skills to use and learn how to do new things but don't know how to
select good and useful problems to work on.

On the general topic of mentoring, though, I think one of the hardest
parts of helping new people join the project is that people need to start
with relatively easy tasks so that they can get their feet wet.  That
often means that one needs to step back and let new people do things that
are easy for the mentor, which in turn means leaving easy work undone for
long enough to give people a chance to do it.

I think this can be a real struggle with mature teams.  I know I'm not the
only person in Debian with a strong interest in time management techniques
(it's even already come up in candidate statements), and one thing that's
virtually universal in time management literature is that one should do
easy things immediately rather than letting them accumulate.  Part of what
I've always found challenging in mentoring is that I have to step back and
*not* follow my normal work process to give someone else a chance to work
through the easy things that will help them build familiarity with the
(Continue reading)

Moray Allan | 12 Mar 12:54 2013

Re: mentoring programs in Debian

On 2013-03-12 01:03, Russ Allbery wrote:
> On the general topic of mentoring, though, I think one of the hardest
> parts of helping new people join the project is that people need to 
> start
> with relatively easy tasks so that they can get their feet wet.

Yes.  Even where there is an existing list of tasks, these will often 
be too hard to be a good introduction for new people.  Or otherwise, 
easy but boring and not introducing enough aspects of a team's work.  Or 
too urgent to have a working solution for, so that depending on the new 
person completing one quickly is dangerous and unfair.

In some areas it may be better to start with artificial tasks.  Already 
in Debian we have often used artificial tasks in the NM process, as a 
quick way of checking skills that weren't demonstrated by past activity: 
e.g. asking how to respond to a specified list of invented bug reports, 
or asking to find some of the problems in licences that we already know 
are bad.

In some other areas, it might be necessary for people to start just by 
"shadowing" the activity of someone experienced.  Even these cases can 
give the new people a real insight into the relevant area of work just 
from seeing what is done and seeing how decisions are made, and much 
more so if the experienced people take the time to work through some 
decisions with them in depth, listening to the person's suggestions 
before responding with comments from their own experience.

--

-- 
Moray

(Continue reading)

Ana Guerrero | 12 Mar 14:14 2013
Picon

Re: mentoring programs in Debian

Hi Russ,

On Mon, Mar 11, 2013 at 03:03:42PM -0700, Russ Allbery wrote:
> Ana Guerrero <ana@...> writes:
> 
> > - For some DDs in previous years, this seemed to be a way to have students
> >   doing stuff from their TODO lists...
> 
> Just a quick note on this part: I don't think this is inherently a bad
> idea, although of course it should be something the student is also
> excited about.  But I remember what I was like when I was in high school:
> I really wanted to program, but I was horrible at coming up with useful
> things to do.  I needed a good problem stream that I could work on and
> then I enjoyed finding ways to solve the problems.  Not everyone is like
> that, of course, but I do think there are people out there who just want
> to put skills to use and learn how to do new things but don't know how to
> select good and useful problems to work on.
> 
> On the general topic of mentoring, though, I think one of the hardest
> parts of helping new people join the project is that people need to start
> with relatively easy tasks so that they can get their feet wet.  That
> often means that one needs to step back and let new people do things that
> are easy for the mentor, which in turn means leaving easy work undone for
> long enough to give people a chance to do it.

I see your point. In these cases, the "mentor" was more treating the GSoC
program as a bounty program or a way to have "contractors" paid at the expense
of somebody else. It wasn't a real mentoring scheme.

This kind of mentoring "let's package this new software stack" (and create
(Continue reading)

Lucas Nussbaum | 12 Mar 19:50 2013
Picon

Re: mentoring programs in Debian

On 12/03/13 at 14:14 +0100, Ana Guerrero wrote:
> Hi Russ,
> 
> On Mon, Mar 11, 2013 at 03:03:42PM -0700, Russ Allbery wrote:
> > Ana Guerrero <ana <at> debian.org> writes:
> > 
> > > - For some DDs in previous years, this seemed to be a way to have students
> > >   doing stuff from their TODO lists...
> > 
> > Just a quick note on this part: I don't think this is inherently a bad
> > idea, although of course it should be something the student is also
> > excited about.  But I remember what I was like when I was in high school:
> > I really wanted to program, but I was horrible at coming up with useful
> > things to do.  I needed a good problem stream that I could work on and
> > then I enjoyed finding ways to solve the problems.  Not everyone is like
> > that, of course, but I do think there are people out there who just want
> > to put skills to use and learn how to do new things but don't know how to
> > select good and useful problems to work on.
> > 
> > On the general topic of mentoring, though, I think one of the hardest
> > parts of helping new people join the project is that people need to start
> > with relatively easy tasks so that they can get their feet wet.  That
> > often means that one needs to step back and let new people do things that
> > are easy for the mentor, which in turn means leaving easy work undone for
> > long enough to give people a chance to do it.
> 
> 
> I see your point. In these cases, the "mentor" was more treating the GSoC
> program as a bounty program or a way to have "contractors" paid at the expense
> of somebody else. It wasn't a real mentoring scheme.
(Continue reading)

Ana Guerrero | 12 Mar 21:56 2013
Picon

Re: mentoring programs in Debian

On Tue, Mar 12, 2013 at 07:50:27PM +0100, Lucas Nussbaum wrote:
> On 12/03/13 at 14:14 +0100, Ana Guerrero wrote:
..
> > 
> > This kind of mentoring "let's package this new software stack" (and create
> > a team to maintain it, when it doesn't exist) doesn't need to happen inside
> > the GSoC, it can happen already in Debian.
> 
> Nothing really needs to happen inside GSoC. But GSoC provide several
> advantages:
> - there's a rigid framework (deadlines, etc) that help the student organize
>   and focus
> - the student gets paid by Google
> - the student gets to mention both Debian and Google on his CV, which is
>   probably seen positively by future recruiters.

Yeah, and also the GSoC have a huge disadvantage, it is available only to a tiny
small percentage of the population who have the privilege of getting a higher
education, then only if their school load and life responsibilities allow them
to participate in the program.

It would also be good for us to encourage our own programs to a wider and diverse
population, instead of relying exclusively on the rules set by a non-free-software
company. And assuming that students want non-free-software companies on their CV.

Your whole point here somehow seems to be against this internship idea While
you seemed to agree previously that all of these internship-like things
(GSoC, NM, team-trainee, ...) are good.

Ana
(Continue reading)

Picon

Re: mentoring programs in Debian

On Tue 12 Mar 2013 17:56:10 Ana Guerrero escribió:
[snip] 
> Yeah, and also the GSoC have a huge disadvantage, it is available only to a
> tiny small percentage of the population who have the privilege of getting
> a higher education, then only if their school load and life
> responsibilities allow them to participate in the program.

Without taking into account that summer is happening just in the northern 
hemisphere. In the remaining of the globe, we are not on holidays.

-- 
Esperando confirmación de ingredientes necesarios
que serán expuestos a la radiación...
  Manera geek de expresar que se espera la compra
  de carne para un típico asado argentino.
  Silvio Rikemberg.

Lisandro Damián Nicanor Pérez Meyer
http://perezmeyer.com.ar/
http://perezmeyer.blogspot.com/
On Tue 12 Mar 2013 17:56:10 Ana Guerrero escribió:
[snip] 
> Yeah, and also the GSoC have a huge disadvantage, it is available only to a
> tiny small percentage of the population who have the privilege of getting
> a higher education, then only if their school load and life
> responsibilities allow them to participate in the program.

Without taking into account that summer is happening just in the northern 
(Continue reading)

Lucas Nussbaum | 12 Mar 22:44 2013
Picon

Re: mentoring programs in Debian

Hi,

On 12/03/13 at 21:56 +0100, Ana Guerrero wrote:
> On Tue, Mar 12, 2013 at 07:50:27PM +0100, Lucas Nussbaum wrote:
> > On 12/03/13 at 14:14 +0100, Ana Guerrero wrote:
> ..
> > > 
> > > This kind of mentoring "let's package this new software stack" (and create
> > > a team to maintain it, when it doesn't exist) doesn't need to happen inside
> > > the GSoC, it can happen already in Debian.
> > 
> > Nothing really needs to happen inside GSoC. But GSoC provide several
> > advantages:
> > - there's a rigid framework (deadlines, etc) that help the student organize
> >   and focus
> > - the student gets paid by Google
> > - the student gets to mention both Debian and Google on his CV, which is
> >   probably seen positively by future recruiters.
> 
> Yeah, and also the GSoC have a huge disadvantage, it is available only to a tiny
> small percentage of the population who have the privilege of getting a higher
> education, then only if their school load and life responsibilities allow them
> to participate in the program.
> 
> It would also be good for us to encourage our own programs to a wider and diverse
> population, instead of relying exclusively on the rules set by a non-free-software
> company. And assuming that students want non-free-software companies on their CV.
> 
> Your whole point here somehow seems to be against this internship idea While
> you seemed to agree previously that all of these internship-like things
(Continue reading)

Vincent Cheng | 13 Mar 08:42 2013
Picon

Re: mentoring programs in Debian

On Tue, Mar 12, 2013 at 2:44 PM, Lucas Nussbaum <lucas@...> wrote:
<snip>
> And I also think that in terms of internship programs (=~ "full-time
> work inside the project during the summer"), we should explore joining
> other programs and/or creating our own.

If there's anything that I hope to see happen from this discussion,
it's probably the above. I think that Debian can benefit greatly from
having its own (semi-)formal internship/mentorship program, in
addition to existing channels (i.e. mailing lists and IRC). The
closest thing we have right now are team initiatives like Debian Med's
MoM, but I'm hoping for a project-wide initiative. We want to attract
contributors to the project that stay long-term, and having a bit of a
personalized touch would definitely help new and prospective
contributors to stay and engage with the rest of the community, and to
continue working on Debian even after GSoC/GCI, or whatever internship
program they were involved in, ends.

I'm not sure about the details, but we could look into establishing
something similar to X.org's EVoC [1] program, although possibly
without the cash prizes (I doubt that there's going to be enough
interest for funding to be justified).

Regards,
Vincent

[1] http://www.x.org/wiki/XorgEVoC

Wolodja Wentland | 12 Mar 21:48 2013

Re: mentoring programs in Debian

Hi Ana,

On Tue, Mar 12, 2013 at 14:14 +0100, Ana Guerrero wrote:

> I see your point. In these cases, the "mentor" was more treating the GSoC
> program as a bounty program or a way to have "contractors" paid at the expense
> of somebody else. It wasn't a real mentoring scheme.
> 
> This kind of mentoring "let's package this new software stack" (and create
> a team to maintain it, when it doesn't exist) doesn't need to happen inside
> the GSoC, it can happen already in Debian. In fact, some Debian teams already
> do this, but fail to announce it clearly. When an interested user ask,
> we tend to say: "if you want new version of X in Debian, we need help" instead
> of "we welcome new contributors. If you don't have a lot of experience, don't
> worry, we'll mentor you! Please take a look at this and if you can questions
> mails us to X and/or join us in IRC" or something along these lines :)

Would you mind elaborating on this? The background to this is that I am
currently considering mentoring the "Leiningen & Clojure packaging" project
[0] and your comments make me think twice about commiting to this. I thought
that the proposal has merit and would allow an interested student to gather
valuable insights into Debian and its packaging infrastructure or tooling.

[0] http://wiki.debian.org/SummerOfCode2013/Projects#Leiningen_.26_Clojure_packaging
--

-- 
Wolodja <debian@...>

4096R/CAF14EFC
081C B7CD FF04 2BA9 94EA  36B2 8B7F 7D30 CAF1 4EFC
(Continue reading)

Ana Guerrero | 16 Mar 15:07 2013
Picon

Re: mentoring programs in Debian

[Dropped -vote]

On Tue, Mar 12, 2013 at 08:48:33PM +0000, Wolodja Wentland wrote:
>
[...]
> Would you mind elaborating on this? The background to this is that I am
> currently considering mentoring the "Leiningen & Clojure packaging" project
> [0] and your comments make me think twice about commiting to this. I thought
> that the proposal has merit and would allow an interested student to gather
> valuable insights into Debian and its packaging infrastructure or tooling.
> 
> [0] http://wiki.debian.org/SummerOfCode2013/Projects#Leiningen_.26_Clojure_packaging

I chose not to be involved this year in GSoC so I can not tell you if this
year "packaging proposals" are welcome or not. You need to talk with this
year's admins.

What I can give you are my personal thoughts about why I think this kind
of projects are usually not the best idea to be done inside the GSoC from 
a mentor POV, but rather in a more traditional Debian mentorship approach
in learning how to package and maintain software in Debian.

GSoC is about getting students spending their summer contributing to free
software and not in another kind of jobs (see the motto: "flip bits not
burguers"). In most of the cases, the students don't have previous experience
in free software development. But this is not always the case, of course.
The students get with this program the opportunity to learn about free
software or improve their skills while the mentoring organization is given
the opportunity to recruit new contributors or train contributors in
new areas.
(Continue reading)

Wolodja Wentland | 16 Mar 15:20 2013

Re: mentoring programs in Debian

On Sat, Mar 16, 2013 at 15:07 +0100, Ana Guerrero wrote:
> [Dropped -vote]
> 
> On Tue, Mar 12, 2013 at 08:48:33PM +0000, Wolodja Wentland wrote:
> >
> [...]
> > Would you mind elaborating on this? The background to this is that I am
> > currently considering mentoring the "Leiningen & Clojure packaging" project
> > [0] and your comments make me think twice about commiting to this. I thought
> > that the proposal has merit and would allow an interested student to gather
> > valuable insights into Debian and its packaging infrastructure or tooling.
> > 
> > [0] http://wiki.debian.org/SummerOfCode2013/Projects#Leiningen_.26_Clojure_packaging
> 
> I chose not to be involved this year in GSoC so I can not tell you if this
> year "packaging proposals" are welcome or not. You need to talk with this
> year's admins.
> 
> What I can give you are my personal thoughts about why I think this kind
> of projects are usually not the best idea to be done inside the GSoC from 
> a mentor POV, but rather in a more traditional Debian mentorship approach
> in learning how to package and maintain software in Debian.

[…]

Thank you so much for taking the time to write this. I agree with you most
feervently and also never intended the project to be about packaging only, but
rather about developing the tools that are necessary to do that. The problem
is simply that /some/ packaging might have to be done before that, but I see
that work primarily on my (and other team member's) shoulders.
(Continue reading)

Russ Allbery | 17 Mar 02:58 2013
Picon

Re: mentoring programs in Debian

Ana Guerrero <ana@...> writes:

> I see your point. In these cases, the "mentor" was more treating the
> GSoC program as a bounty program or a way to have "contractors" paid at
> the expense of somebody else. It wasn't a real mentoring scheme.

Ah, yes, that's certainly a problem.

> This kind of mentoring "let's package this new software stack" (and
> create a team to maintain it, when it doesn't exist) doesn't need to
> happen inside the GSoC, it can happen already in Debian. In fact, some
> Debian teams already do this, but fail to announce it clearly. When an
> interested user ask, we tend to say: "if you want new version of X in
> Debian, we need help" instead of "we welcome new contributors. If you
> don't have a lot of experience, don't worry, we'll mentor you! Please
> take a look at this and if you can questions mails us to X and/or join
> us in IRC" or something along these lines :)

Indeed.

Of course, some of that problem is that mentoring can be a lot of work!
This is always one of the challenges for free-time activities; people like
doing things that are fun and simple and directly personally rewarding.
While mentoring can be that, it isn't always.

I've been spending the day poking around on video game forums since one of
the tracking sites I'm particularly fond of just redid part of how they do
one of their statistical score calculations, and there's a lot of
resulting discussion.  That prompts me to wonder if mentoring is an area
of Debian that would benefit from some sort of gamification
(Continue reading)

Moray Allan | 12 Mar 10:37 2013

Re: mentoring programs in Debian

On 2013-03-11 23:56, Ana Guerrero wrote:
> The question I would love to see answered by you both is:
> What new schemes of mentoring/integrating new contributors do you
> envisage we could try in Debian?

I'm sure there are more possibilities that I haven't thought of yet, 
but I can see space for several types.  For example:

- General new contributors: Recruit people and train them on how to 
work on topics that interest them.  Even if they don't end up working on 
those topics permanently, it could help draw them into Debian more 
generally.  As well as packaging and coding, these internships could 
cover design, documentation writing, publicity work, or any other type 
of Debian role.

- Targetted groups: Advertising schemes aimed at students (like GSoC) 
or women or retired people or any other underrepresented group can help 
us pull in Debian contributors from a wider pool.

- Existing contributors: Some existing contributors might want to 
participate in the previous type of scheme directly, to learn about a 
new area.  But I can also imagine some team internships that are only 
open to existing Debian contributors, like the FTPTrainees scheme.[1]  
These would likely be used by teams to recruit new members, but I think 
they can also serve a wider purpose than that -- where time and energy 
is available, it's valuable just to have more people around who 
understand in detail the type of work done by each team.

Within each type, schemes could obviously be longer or shorter/more or 
less detailed/more about mentoring or shadowing, depending on the 
(Continue reading)

Lucas Nussbaum | 12 Mar 13:18 2013
Picon

Re: mentoring programs in Debian

On 11/03/13 at 21:56 +0100, Ana Guerrero wrote:
> [Some sort-of thread hijacking]
> 
> Hi folks,
> 
> I see this thread going nowhere and it's a pity because discussing new
> ways to integrate contributors in Debian is a topic worth discussing.
> 
> I have been involved in GSoC in the editions 2011 and 2012 and in
> Code-in 2011. Besides that, I mentored a now DD inside the Debian Women
> mentoring program. All those mentoring programs were *very* different
> therefore producing different results. And I'm sure we can use more 
> schemes of recruiting/attracting new contributors.
> 
> The question I would love to see answered by you both is:
> What new schemes of mentoring/integrating new contributors do you
> envisage we could try in Debian?

Interesting question. You write about "new mentoring schemes", I'm going
to extend the scope a bit to "improvable schemes".  I hope you don't mind.
I think we have many different schemes, and I'm not sure that we need
to add new ones. But we could "optimize" some of them a bit.

The various schemes are all (or most of them) useful. Different schemes
suit different people, so it's important to continue to offer them.

So, what do we offer in terms of mentoring in Debian? That's a pretty
good question and actually, we should have an overview of that somewhere
on the website or the wiki.

(Continue reading)

Lucas Nussbaum | 12 Mar 19:55 2013
Picon

Re: mentoring programs in Debian

On 12/03/13 at 13:18 +0100, Lucas Nussbaum wrote:
> What I can think about:

Forgot something:

"schools/seminars"
------------------
Ubuntu does https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UbuntuDeveloperWeek - a set of
seminars on IRC to teach Ubuntu development. I'm not sure of how useful
that is (I've never attended it) and if we should do it too. AFAIK we
don't do that inside Debian. But I thought it was worth mentioning.

Lucas

gregor herrmann | 12 Mar 20:22 2013
X-Face
Picon

Re: mentoring programs in Debian

On Tue, 12 Mar 2013 19:55:42 +0100, Lucas Nussbaum wrote:

> "schools/seminars"
> ------------------
> Ubuntu does https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UbuntuDeveloperWeek - a set of
> seminars on IRC to teach Ubuntu development. I'm not sure of how useful
> that is (I've never attended it) and if we should do it too. AFAIK we
> don't do that inside Debian. But I thought it was worth mentioning.

There have been some IRC Training Sessions organized by the Debian
Women team:
http://wiki.debian.org/DebianWomen/Projects/Events/TrainingSessions

Cheers,
gregor

--

-- 
 .''`.  Homepage: http://info.comodo.priv.at/ - OpenPGP key 0xBB3A68018649AA06
 : :' : Debian GNU/Linux user, admin, and developer  -  http://www.debian.org/
 `. `'  Member of VIBE!AT & SPI, fellow of the Free Software Foundation Europe
   `-   NP: Bob Dylan: It's All Good
On Tue, 12 Mar 2013 19:55:42 +0100, Lucas Nussbaum wrote:

> "schools/seminars"
> ------------------
> Ubuntu does https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UbuntuDeveloperWeek - a set of
> seminars on IRC to teach Ubuntu development. I'm not sure of how useful
> that is (I've never attended it) and if we should do it too. AFAIK we
(Continue reading)

Paul Wise | 13 Mar 04:54 2013
Picon

Re: mentoring programs in Debian

On Wed, Mar 13, 2013 at 2:55 AM, Lucas Nussbaum wrote:

> Ubuntu does https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UbuntuDeveloperWeek - a set of
> seminars on IRC to teach Ubuntu development. I'm not sure of how useful
> that is (I've never attended it) and if we should do it too. AFAIK we
> don't do that inside Debian. But I thought it was worth mentioning.

In Debian we mostly do continuous mentoring on all topics on the
debian-mentors IRC channel and mailing list rather than specific
sessions at specific times. I guess some folks learn better the other
way and might benefit better from specific sessions so it might be
interesting to do both. I'm not sure about the full week part though,
maybe something more continuous would be good.

--

-- 
bye,
pabs

http://wiki.debian.org/PaulWise

Wouter Verhelst | 13 Mar 08:03 2013
Picon

Re: mentoring programs in Debian

On Wed, Mar 13, 2013 at 11:54:44AM +0800, Paul Wise wrote:
> On Wed, Mar 13, 2013 at 2:55 AM, Lucas Nussbaum wrote:
> 
> > Ubuntu does https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UbuntuDeveloperWeek - a set of
> > seminars on IRC to teach Ubuntu development. I'm not sure of how useful
> > that is (I've never attended it) and if we should do it too. AFAIK we
> > don't do that inside Debian. But I thought it was worth mentioning.
> 
> In Debian we mostly do continuous mentoring on all topics on the
> debian-mentors IRC channel and mailing list rather than specific
> sessions at specific times.

Such things work great if you already know where to get started. If you
don't, it might be more difficult. I think it's a normal fact that some
people require a bit more handholding than others, at the beginning; but
that doesn't mean they're less capable.

Having an IRC seminar with basic information on what to do seems like a
great way to get started, to me.

> I guess some folks learn better the other
> way and might benefit better from specific sessions so it might be
> interesting to do both. I'm not sure about the full week part though,
> maybe something more continuous would be good.
> 
> -- 
> bye,
> pabs
> 
> http://wiki.debian.org/PaulWise
(Continue reading)

Lucas Nussbaum | 13 Mar 08:53 2013
Picon

Re: mentoring programs in Debian

On 13/03/13 at 08:03 +0100, Wouter Verhelst wrote:
> On Wed, Mar 13, 2013 at 11:54:44AM +0800, Paul Wise wrote:
> > On Wed, Mar 13, 2013 at 2:55 AM, Lucas Nussbaum wrote:
> > 
> > > Ubuntu does https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UbuntuDeveloperWeek - a set of
> > > seminars on IRC to teach Ubuntu development. I'm not sure of how useful
> > > that is (I've never attended it) and if we should do it too. AFAIK we
> > > don't do that inside Debian. But I thought it was worth mentioning.
> > 
> > In Debian we mostly do continuous mentoring on all topics on the
> > debian-mentors IRC channel and mailing list rather than specific
> > sessions at specific times.
> 
> Such things work great if you already know where to get started. If you
> don't, it might be more difficult. I think it's a normal fact that some
> people require a bit more handholding than others, at the beginning; but
> that doesn't mean they're less capable.
> 
> Having an IRC seminar with basic information on what to do seems like a
> great way to get started, to me.

I'm not very up-to-date on the status of Free Software
video-conferencing tools, but maybe that's something that could be done
that way. Also, for packaging tutorials, we have slides already (hint
hint) ;)

Lucas


Gmane