Start the Journey

Work with your Mentor

Depending on projects, a mentor will be assigned to you throughout the program, from the application process time period to course completion. So, it is your responsibility to actively align with your mentor to ensure that you have completed all the tasks during the application process to be accepted. After being accepted as a mentee, go hand-in-hand with your mentor to ensure that you are learning effectively, getting answers to your questions, and are contributing to the project.

  • Be proactive, and reach out to mentor(s) to schedule weekly check in meetings. Spend one of the 1st meetings aligning on expectations, communication channels/norms/tools, any vacation or academic scheduling conflict.

  • Set up your development environment and tools and do some practice.

  • Start contributing to your project, such as by writing clean codes, or clear instructions in the documents, and get them reviewed by your mentor on a timely basis. Ask for feedback or suggestions on your progress, and seek advice to perform well.

  • During the application process time period,work on a project plan with your mentor that includes project objectives, milestones/deliverables, methodology, documentation. Project plan should be posted on the wiki for transparency and accountability at the beginning of your application in the program.

That said, respect your mentor’s time. Your mentor is volunteering his/her time to help you grow, taking time out of his/her busy schedule. So, regularly attend the scheduled meetings, provide your work status and take as much advantage as you can from your mentor to learn. Keep in mind that your mentor is the most valuable person to help you successfully graduate from the mentorship program.

Learn and Practice Open Source Culture

It can be intimidating initially if you are new to the open source world. However, always maintain the culture when you are working in an environment, as Bill S. Preston Esq says—“Stick to the Open Source Culture : Be excellent to each other.”

  • It is synchronous in nature. Most collaboration is done via email, forum posts, mailing lists, and pull requests.

  • Cooperation and consensus building is the greatest challenge.

  • Because other people can’t see your face or hear your voice, emotions are lost and intent muddled.

Open source development is truly global. All cultures, all languages, all time zones, and all continents--yes, even Antarctica.

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