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Re: Why Linux needs a mentor program

Rahul Sundaram wrote:

> Hi
> It was interesting to read your article on
> http://business.newsforge.com/article.pl?sid=05/09/13/1816200&tid=35.
> It was particularly relevant to me since Fedora very recently started
> a mentoring program[1] to get users and developers to participate and
> get involved in Fedora is a better way. While its not a entirely new
> idea or effort its good to see we set ourselves in the right
> direction. The amount of involvement required to take it to Linux on
> the whole is enormous.  I believe we already do that in a modular
> fashion in the form of various help sites like
> http://linuxquestions.org for users or http://kernelnewbies.org for
> developers. A central place to list and combine all these efforts
> might work better rather doing it from scratch
> regards
> Rahul
> http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Mentors
Hmm... The article focuses on mentors for end-user support, while our
mentors program is geared towards contributors.  Is end-user mentoring
something we really want to tackle?  Obviously, it would be nice to have
a full mentoring program for new users, but it is really a question of
resources.  Our contributor mentoring is only barely getting off the
ground.  Tackling end-user support would be a huge task, and could lead
to all kinds of headaches.  If we do decide to take that on, we would
certainly need to focus on getting new users to look at the available
information before asking questions.  Could we really solicit enough
volunteers to answer the typical newbie questions each time another
newbie comes along?  Mentoring programs for end-users are at high risk
of attracting lazy or completely incompetent users.  We would also have
to start pointing users in every class to LUGs and commercial support
options.  We can't do it all alone.

Patrick "The N-Man" Barnes
nman64 n-man com


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