[OSCTC-planning] mentorship and other ways to follow up with Open Source Comes to Campus attendees

Shauna Gordon-McKeon shaunagm at gmail.com
Mon Jul 21 15:15:13 UTC 2014


On Sun, Jul 20, 2014 at 11:58 AM, Sumana Harihareswara <sumanah at panix.com>
wrote:

> Hey, I'm sorry it's taken a while for me to say on list something I said
> to Shauna earlier. This is rambly and not necessarily apposite but I
> figure it's better to make sure I've said it here!
>
> One Perl/OpenBSD person who'd just attended his first PyCon said:
>
> https://twitter.com/AFresh1/status/454991682036314112
>
> > The common theme I notice at #PyCon is the focus that community will
> > bring technical excellence rather than the other way in #Perl and
> > #BSD
>
> which rings true to me.
>
> I'm sure Mel can talk our ears off about cognitive apprenticeship,
> legitimate peripheral participation,
>
> http://blog.melchua.com/2012/04/12/cognitive-apprenticeship-case-studies-in-software-engineering/
> and other key concepts in creating learning environments.
>

Are there some specific readings you'd suggest for legitimate peripheral
participation?  Other than just generally reading Mel's blog, which I like
to do as often as possible.  :)


>
> I totally agree that socialization and identity formation are KEY in
> helping people contribute to FLOSS, or develop any new hobby. I'd love
> for us to research best practices in
> missiology/Communism/Amway/dissident movements/skateboarding/garage
> rock/Zumba/etc. so we could use them in FLOSS. We aren't the first to
> need to do this.
>

Join the Club (
http://www.amazon.com/Join-Club-Pressure-Transform-World/dp/0393341836) is
a good book on this topic.  It focuses a great deal on building friendships
and peer networks, which is why I've been thinking of having a mentorship
program with a cohort model.  However I worry that it is difficult to build
cohorts remotely.  If we can get enough students from the same geographical
area, in person meetings might be an option...



>
> Mentors in FOSS need to help mentees learn *what is normal* in a world
> that's upside-down for most folks, and they need to be able to help
> extremely diverse new folks bootstrap. (We aim to give people something
> real to do as they bootstrap - what? There's one evergreen task that a
> mentor can give - writing a discovery report on installation or new dev
> environment setup or something like that
>
> https://blog.wikimedia.org/2014/03/25/seeing-through-the-eyes-of-new-technical-contributors/
> - and SpinachCon looks promising.)
>

I've identified a few additional evergreen tasks that we're going to be
folding in to OSCTC events, during the Contributions Workshop.  They
include:

1) giving feedback on installation and setup, as you mentioned.  very rough
draft off online guide is here:
http://openhatch.github.io/open-source-comes-to-campus/lessons/newcomer-tasks/setup/#/
2) testing project websites for accessibility.  very rough draft is here:
http://openhatch.github.io/open-source-comes-to-campus/lessons/newcomer-tasks/accessibility/#/
3) bug triage: going through trackers that need weeding and reproducing
bugs, testing patches, and doing basic code review.  no draft yet, inspired
by: https://openhatch.org/wiki/Triaging_Python_tickets
4)  user tests: working in pairs to do user tests of open source projects.
 inspired by Jen Davidson's talk at OS Bridge.

I'm actually *really* thrilled about this model - I think it will solve a
number of problems, including:
- helping students get quick wins
- finding concrete ways for OSCTC students to help projects, which I think
will make more projects to want to engage with us and with the people
approaching their projects
- teaching them a relatively project-independent task, which means they can
contribute to a variety of projects that interest them (not just the ones
we've picked for the event)
- providing a more structured contributions workshop, which many, many
people have asked for

I also think there are additional newcomer tasks I haven't identified yet,
so I'm looking forward to expanding this.

Once I've one or more of the task guides polished, I'm going to make a blog
post about the new model.



>
> The people who are hesitant about applying to OPW/GSoC because they
> don't know whether they are ready enough: some subset of those people
> have impostor syndrome and need actual facts so they can measure
> themselves against objective criteria. Maybe OH can help them
> self-assess on FLOSS skills.
>

I definitely want to address impostor syndrome and other forms of
psychological obstacles through the mentorship program.  It's perhaps my
biggest priority.



>
> Looking forward to hearing what others have to say,
>
> rambly Sumana
>
> --
> Sumana Harihareswara
> http://www.harihareswara.net/
> _______________________________________________
> OSCTC-planning mailing list
> OSCTC-planning at lists.openhatch.org
> http://lists.openhatch.org/mailman/listinfo/osctc-planning
>
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