Dent the Universe: Mentoring in Open Source
Successful people from diverse backgrounds in almost every field can point to the mentors they have had at different points in their careers and personal lives who have helped them to get to where they are. Research has confirmed what many have intuitively suspected: that intentional mentoring is directly connected to positive outcomes. This holds true within the Open Source community, but many people don’t know exactly where to begin. In this presentation, we’ll explore how to find a mentor, how to be a mentor, and how you can support the development of a mentoring program in your own community, whether it’s surrounding a volunteer project, in a workplace, or for personal reasons. January is National Mentoring Month, so there is no better time to tackle the topic!
The Open Source community at large has been built on a spirit of collaboration and cooperation, but there is still work to be done. Rich Bowen of Apache once wrote, “Direct, intentional mentoring is 100% of the reason that I am where I am today, professionally and personally.” Creating a mentoring relationship is not as simple as being inspired by your boss or by meeting peers for a brainstorming session. “Direct, intentional mentoring,” of the quality that Bowen suggests, requires a mutual agreement between the mentor and the mentee of the expectations and goals of their partnership. Technology now allows for partnerships to develop easily over great distances, and social media can now be used to the advantage of both parties. I’ll share concrete tools to support SCALE attendees in making connections and starting their own mentoring relationships right away -- a conference like SCALE can be the perfect place to get started.