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Mentorship programs. Growing new team and community leaders

Mentorship programs. Growing new team and community leaders

Mentorship and outreach programs are often considered as side projects. Although they are a nice way to spend time and have fun, one may say they rarely add new long-term contributors to your company project or community. Is it true? Is it even the main goal? Or is it about team bonding and growing new maintainers and community leaders?

Let’s talk about organizing mentorship programs to help grow your current community and contributors. How do we involve a contributor in wider community efforts? How do we help them grow and take on new roles? Let’s talk about various program types: wide outreach programs like GSoC or Hacktoberfest, newcomer assistance, focused maintainer mentoring programs, and individual leadership training like shadow officers.

The talk is based on my experience in the [Jenkins](https://www.jenkins.io/), [FOSSi](https://www.fossi-foundation.org/), the [Continuous Delivery Foundation](https://cd.foundation/) and other communities. I organized or helped to organize a number of mentorship and outreach programs: contributor/maintainer onboarding, GSoC/GSoD, Outreachy, CommunityBridge, various hackathons, and board member training.

Oleg Nenashev

January 31, 2024

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  1. 2 / > whoami @oleg_nenashev oleg-nenashev Dr. Nenashev / Mr.

    Jenkins Developer tools hacker Community builder & DevRel consultant #RussiansAgainstPutin #StandWithUkraine
  2. 8 / Mentorship Programs. Why? • Onboarding individual and company

    contributors • Community bonding and retention • Driving key initiatives • Guerilla marketing • Growing community leaders
  3. 9 / Mentorship Programs • Learning experience for all parties

    • Community bonding • Nice2Have: Delivering Something • Nice2Have: Driving the project’s roadmap
  4. 11 / In the Gradle Build Tool • GSoC 2023

    - Support for Kotlin DSL in Eclipse / Buildship • 2 mentees in Major League Hacking (MLH) newsletter.gradle.org/2024/01
  5. 12 / Not just code! Zainab Abubakar @zaycodes • Google

    Season of Docs 2020 ◦ jenkins.io/blog/2020/12/04/gsod-project-report • Keynotes at CloudBees/CDF events • Presented at the D&I Council at CB • Multi-year SheCodeAfrica collaboration on documentation/code hackathons ◦ Event sponsorship ◦ Co-promotion
  6. 13 / Community leader candidates are out there Mentee Co-mentor(s)

    Users Comitters Maintainers Leaders Lead Mentor Org admins Organizers Sponsors
  7. 14 / • Difficult • Exhausting • Not always fun

    … but rewarding Leading mentorship is hard
  8. 15 / James Bottomley, “The Selfish Contributor Explained”, FOSDEM 2020

  9. 16 / Mentorship is great for you • Side projects!!!

    Swag!!! • Leadership practice • Learning together with mentees • Visibility in open source, network • Influence in the community
  10. 17 / Exposure and visibility on the market Ewelina Wilkosz

    – Most Valuable Jenkins Contributor @ Jenkins World Google Summer of Code Mentor Summit – Select FOSS Event
  11. 19 / Leadership == Path to the next roles •

    People manager • Product manager • Project manager • Community manager • …
  12. 20 / Mentorship is great for your company • (?)

    Open-source ecosystem around products • (?) Features in our products • Marketing content • Visibility in open source • Recruitment opportunities • Leadership practice for engineers
  13. 21 / Takeaways • Mentorship in open source is not

    just volunteering • Mentorship is good for your career • It’s a great way to practice leadership skills • “Leadership practice” can be sold to your management