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

Sumana Harihareswara sumanah at
Sun Jul 20 15:58:58 UTC 2014

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:

> 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,
and other key concepts in creating learning environments.

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.

My PyCon poster (mentorship lessons I learned from Hacker School)
might be a useful thing to look at.

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
- and SpinachCon looks promising.)

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.

Looking forward to hearing what others have to say,

rambly Sumana

Sumana Harihareswara

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