Ambassadors/Mentors Survey

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Place to collect the results from the Mentors Survey

Contents

What were your expectations when you signed up to become a mentor?

  • I had no expectations. Actually, I didn't even expect to become a mentor, you surprised me when you proposed my candidacy :)
  • I expected to give guidance to those who wanted to become Fedora Ambassadors. That was really the only thing that I expected -- as far as the people involved, I expected everyone to act professionally and with courtesy, and everyone has acted that way. As for the people I mentor, most have been enthusiastic and informed about Fedora, which has been a plus.
  • When I signed up to be a mentor my understanding is that I'm going to contribute by helping applicants gain the necessary knowledge to use the tools Ambassadors use. When I started out in Ambassadors, I had a long time figuring out things that to me now look very simple.
    • Another expectation was to know more Ambassadors. By being a mentor, applicants would need to talk to me and for me that's fun. It's not everyday you can talk to a Fedora Ambassador you haven't worked with in the past.
    • An additional bonus is that I mostly work with guys from APAC - for me that's an added motivation. When I started in Ambassadors, we're just a handful who attends regional meetings, writes on the mailing list, etc. It brings a good feeling when you come across someone you mentored in one of those meetings, make you feel proud.
  • Nothing as such. But I expected to guide a few more people into the group and subsequent leadership positions.
  • My expectation were to help Ambassador Team and help new people intro contributors.
  • to improve the knowledge and experience of new Fedora Ambassadors. Or with other words: Quality instead of quantity.
  • Try to help more people to get to know the fedora enviromen as I do, and become them great ontributor for the different areas that they can choose. For me, an Ambassador not only has the task to spread fedora going/doing events, but also being part of Fedora as a complete group of task that we (as team) have to develope

How much of these have been met in the current form of the mentor-candidate relationship?

  • All of them.
  • Pretty much everything is spot on.
  • Not much. We have not found many candidates who are willing and/or fit to get into the positions.
  • I feel that I have create good relationship with some new ambassadors, and for others was just protocol.
  • All
  • Almost all, but probably because I'm really strict to approve an ambassador. There has been a HUGE dropuot rate in LATAM, so I'm being a little more consecuent with the ambassadors that want to join the team.

Do Mentors have enough feedback on the accountability and transparency of the system with https://fedorahosted.org/fama/?

  • Well, sometimes I'm not really sure if I'm doing the right thing, but apparently you never said I wasn't, so I guess I have enough feedback and everything's fine. :)
  • I think so. Although if there's a way to make it more open and transparent, I wouldn't object (but I don't know what that might be).
  • When people use the system, we have enough. When we don't, awkward situations arise.
  • I am unable to answer this because I am one of the admins. But I think I am pretty satisfied with the transparency.
  • Yes, I think that there is enough detail to know what is going on which each application.
  • Yes - but I've to add, that the information in the trac (except for the tickets) are partially outdated, deprecated or obsolete. They should maybe get an update to reflect current things.
  • No, this is one of the things that probably I will like to see work better. When a contributors sign up for the ambassadors group (I think) there should be a popup window with some easy questions so the ticket has a little more info at the time that he contact you. You can take an example of the question I do to all the new ambassadors before start the mentoree process.

Do you consider the need for any tooling to help with this workflow (Memberhsip Wizard was a big improvement!)?

  • Frankly, I have no idea. I just started doing this, I just mentored my 5th mentee, so this is all kinda new. I'll probably have more hindsight after a few more time.
  • Outside of Membership Wizard -- a huge +1 -- I don't think there is a need.
  • Standardizing mentor requirements will be one - makes me wonder why applicants shop between mentors.
  • Yes, sort of.
  • No, I think that we need to wait and see how efficient is the new wiki guide.
  • No. Regarding the membership wizard: It's a nice to have, but in fact, the wizard seems not to be that widely used as it maybe should (new ambassadors have still poor/not really meaningful wiki pages). Maybe the wizard needs to point out, that people should write something personal, what they are planning to do in Fedora and how they're right now contributing. Just the contact data are not really meaningful for an ambassador. But ambassadors - at least from my point of view - need to have meaningful wiki pages, as they are representing and promoting Fedora.
  • Maybe not so big, because as mentors, our responsability is to have the time to take care of the candidate; but probably have more information at the time to accept a ticket can help. My opinion, too many workflow tools can eliminate human contact that apart us from other distro groups.

Do we need higher entry barriers for Ambassadors (examples: requiring some time in the Fedora Project, CLA+1, proven work on tasks)?

  • Not necessarily. When I'm mentoring someone, I'm mostly trying to evaluate his maturity. If the candidate is mature enough, then he will be able to:
    • learn what he has to
    • ask questions when he doesn't know
    • not to be afraid to say « I don't know, let me check and I'll come back to answer you later :) »
    • participate in organizing events
    • dedicate himself to his ambassadorship
    • ...
  • I'm not trying to judge what the contributor is *now* (CLA+1) but what he could *become*. Then it's up to me to help him prove me wrong by becoming even more than that. :) So no, I don't think more requirements are *necessary*, though I don't think they would be harmful either. What I do think however is important, is to go on giving mentors complete freedom over how they evaluate candidates (which doesn't mean mentors can't be « peer-reviewed » from time to time, especially for young mentors)
  • I am not sure. On one hand, I like to make sure people are enthusiastic and committed to Fedora before approving them, but on the other hand, I don't know if you want to set the bar too high. The equivalent program in Ubuntu, for example, in North America tends to have a higher requirement and many people don't want to deal with this. I guess what I'm saying is that I believe that most people who become Fedora Ambassadors do their chosen duties at a level at which they're comfortable -- if they go to two or three local events a year and hand out some CDs and swag, and maybe talk to their groups, I'm OK with that. And having said this, I think have some requirements in place keeps out the people who just join us to get "stuff."
  • This is tricky. we can justify the need for such measures but it's my belief that everyone should undergo through the same vetting process.
  • Not really. But I think the process can be made a bit streamlined.
  • There are some skills that are trivial, yet important for the vitual community. The etiquette for mailing list and IRC. Not all ambassadors are technical people, we invite them as people persons. I think that show them how to get into IRC and comment a bit about mailing list is relevant in this mentorship and probably not in for other teams. Maybe a review of their wiki skills. As Latam have their own infrastructure, we have some double task. Like double wiki user pages, double mailing list subscriptions.
  • The most common issue, I'm personally seeing is, that somebody is just a Fedora fanboy and would like to get a Fedora Ambassador. That's something making mentoring more hard. Or people believe, they've more success at work once they've got a title. From my point of view, requiring some active time in the Fedora Project or CLA+1 would definately make sense.
  • Sure!!!! I do this, (and if anyone is doing it should do it) I put task to all the candidates (there are cases when they are already working and I ask personaly to apply to the group) but there is a huge percent of people that only want a nick@fp.org mail; so they can brag.
  • Yes (inode0)

We had discussion on Mentors who were proposed as a Mentor without running a single Event before, do we need more entry requirements for Ambassador Mentors?

  • I think there should be only one requirement to become a mentor: that others trust your judgement on who would be a good ambassador, and how to get them there. This kind of trust is acquired with time and effort, which *can* be running events, giving talks, ... I don't think it is possible to quantify it however. This is IMHO rather a question of judgement, feeling, and trust.
  • At the least there should be a time requirement, like a minimum of one year of membership in the Ambassadors program (it can be longer, of course, but I'm using one year as an example). I also think that those of us who are mentors already know fairly well which of the Ambassadors exhibit leadership potential and, hopefully, we can encourage them to become Mentors.
  • I think it's reasonable to expect that Mentors be able to walk their talk.
  • We do. At least we need a few points upon which the judgement can be made a bit "objective". Right now the whole process is subjective.
  • I am not sure what are the current requirements, but running event experience is a must for mentors.
  • No, because I think, the point that a mentor should be a knowledged and experienced ambassador is already a requirement, right? If not, please put this onto the list.
  • Be a mentor is not about "how many events have you been" is about "be a spiritual / technical support for the new contributors that want to join the ambassador family". Be a mentor is to teach or/and show them respect and care for their fosslabor, help them to make their crazy ideas and impprove the complete concept of "community". If we think that the only way to spread Fedora is doing events... we are so wrong. To me, be a mentor is about to help those great contributors to spread their great actions, so new contributors can have him as example to be better. If we only approve people that has been traveling, going to afterparties and receiving money to make some "quirky events"... what's the message we are sending? Be a cool ambassadors or be an excepcional contributor, then be an ambassadors to spread and teach how have you become in a such succesfull person

Do you think the Mentoring Process[1] is clear enough?

  • The diagram is a little complex, but once you understood that it's only composed of candidacy, sending steps, contacting a mentor, validating/rejecting, then it's actually pretty simple. :)
  • Yes.
  • It's quite clear to me.
  • I am happy with the process, but not with the contend. There are some mentor that assign tasks, and there is not a common ground. I think is not bad, but looks uneven.
  • Yes, but partially outdated: fedora-ambassadors-list-owner@redhat.com for example. Maybe the page should get re-read to ensure, that it's up-to-date.
    • Fixed that link, but we might want to rewrite the page to be even more clear. --pfrields 12:36, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
  • Probably, but part of the process is that mentors BE mentors, the conection between a mentor and an ambassadors aspirant MUST be human, and not resume into a long lecture in our wiki.

Do you feel that your Region is well enough covered with Mentors?

  • EMEA: I'm not overworked by mentees, so I'd say yes. However, I don't think a lack of mentors would be reason enough to « hire » new mentors, just like sufficiency shouldn't block us from welcoming new mentors. The quality of older ambassadors and the trust we have in them should be the only determining criteria.
  • NA: North America has enough mentors at the moment, but there could be more.
  • APAC: Let's just say that I got one too many experience with applicants having multiple mentors. I think we have enough. (Just to clarify, I have no problems with applicants working with other Mentors or Ambassadors, I just expect them to still deliver on tasks I set for them before I give my thumbs up.)
  • APAC: APAC can have a few more to sufficiently cover the area.
  • LATAM: I think It will be better to have a person from Brazil, who his or her first language is Portuguese. I can understand Portuguese but I think that people from Brazil will identify themselves more easily with a Brazilian mentor.
  • EMEA: Yes, absolutely - because there are only less requests in average. I'm able to handle these few requests without getting into stress.
  • LATAM: I think I just need one more to help me cover SouthAmerica (candidates are training)

Should Mentors meet? If yes, how often?

  • I don't see why they shouldn't. :) I don't particularly feel the need for meetings though, as we all tend to hang out in #fedora-ambassadors anyway, so we can discuss what we need anyway.
    • Not too frequently. Sincerely, I can't imagine what could be the agenda of such a meeting, what we could actually talk about and *act* on. But that's probably because I haven't been doing that for a long enough time. ;)
  • Yes! Once a day. Just kidding! I think once a month on IRC would be fine.
  • If we can arrange for something why not. Once a month?
  • Yes. In person: Considering the budget requirement for this, it would be best decided by the budget we have. Virtually: Once in a couple of months
  • Yes - Every month or every other month
  • Yes... ...but not regulary. A meeting should happen, if there are things for a meeting, not just to have a meeting like some other groups/teams do...
  • All the time - maybe not weekly because we all have things to do, but I think that a meeting each months or 2 can help a lot.

Do you think Ambassadors Mentoring brought quality improvement to the Ambassadors Group?

  • Yes, totally. To be frank, sometimes I'm concerned with the quality of some ambassadors that became ones before we established the mentoring process. I'm not sure they would need to go through the mentoring process again, but I feel that having an older ambassador (mentor?) near them and working with them would considerably improve their contribution. Also, defining some criteria to judge the quality of ambassadors would be an impossible task in my opinion.
  • Yes. When I first joined there was no requirements to be an ambassador other than to sign up. Putting up some basic requirements weeds out the people who really shouldn't be ambassadors because they are not committed to Fedora and/or FOSS principles. So there has been an improvement in quality.
  • By shortening the learning curve on tools we use - yes.
  • Yes!!
  • My feeling is that it has to be better, but not sure how to probe it. Mentors are kind of examinators, we don't scout new people. We serve to who comes to us. So is a filter, takes bad thing out, but not help in bring more quantity of good contributors into the project.
  • Yes, definately. Ensuring that not everybody hitting the button "I want to get a Fedora Ambassador" is getting an ambassador anymore is definately a quality improvement. And if somebody is nowadays getting an ambassador, he/ she is hopefully more knowledged due to mentoring than without.
  • Yes, but still need that mentors take more care about the people they "choose" to call ambassadors, and this is a task that is ours, a people spirit CAN'T be measure by a tool

Can you think of any other improvements/suggestions we should focus in the future to have aetter Membership experience?

  • Not at the moment (newbie, ...).
  • enhance the time to "find a mentor period" to 21 Days
  • I can't, but probably someone else will.
  • How about Ambassador tiers? You level up as you accumulate experience, events, etc. You reward great ambassadors. Something like that.
  • Sometimes, I find the steps are too intimidating for newbies. Also, the process is not streamlined as it should be. I propose a bit modified structure:
  1. Upon applying, FAmA send the candidates pre-mentoring steps which are easy to follow and onlly upon successful completion of these steps within 14 days, the candidate move to the mentoring phase.
  2. The mentor assess the candidate and continue mentoring as was done before.
  3. Ensure there is not too much overlapping information/steps between step 1 and step 2.
  • More even requirements around the globe, but not sure. Have feed back from candidates, some sample from approved and not approved. Again not something that I am not sure. Those are just some ideas.
  • Not really. And I don't know, whether it really helps to ensure that the personal wiki page has to exist before the mentoring starts, because some aspects of what to write to a wiki page only show up during mentoring...
  • This is what I request from my mentorees:
  1. Reply to the questions I link up
  2. Meet other guys from his/her country (there are some cases where this step can't be done, new countries)
  3. attend or help an event (there is some people that doesn't have time or monetary resources)
  4. Do a task that can help the Fedora enviroment (translate a doc, do artwork, organice an event, fix a bug, make an rpm... anything beside be a showman). If I can help them directly I always find an ambassador that can help him/her while I watch his/her development