Fedora Mentor Summit planning meeting summary (17 Jan 2023)

Howdy folks! We had one of our first meetings about the Fedora Mentor Summit this year. We didn’t have a wide-open call for participation in this meeting but hope to make this more open as time goes on. This post is a summary of the topics we discussed, and we’d love feedback from others about our thinking so far.

This post covers the following topics:

  1. Where we are now
  2. Themes from our brainstorming
  3. Next steps & actions

Where we are now

The conversation about this year’s event is just beginning. To date, we spent time looking at a reflection of last year’s event and thinking through our goals and vision for this year’s event. We hope to do an in-person Mentor Summit in 2023.

Some key themes from last year’s event:

  • Cross-community: More opportunities to work with and connect to other communities. How could we share our work more while also learning from other communities? How do we grow a conversation about mentoring across several Open Source communities?
  • In-person connection: More interaction and engagement. One of the top comments was a desire for some kind of physical / in-person component, whether through the Hatch-style mini-event or a larger, global event.
  • More skill diversity: More representation of different teams, skills, and backgrounds. We have several different teams in Fedora and mentoring is important across the board. How can we increase participation and shed more light into other parts of Fedora?
  • Logistics: It was hard to get approvals and support for hosting the event. This caused a timeline crunch.

Themes from our brainstorming

In today’s meeting, we brainstormed on the following three questions:

  1. What impact do we want in the community with FMS?
  2. What do you individually want to get out of this year’s event?
  3. Who do you want to be part of this for the event to be successful?

Here is a quick recap of some key themes that emerged from our brainstorming on these questions:

Impact in the community

  • Increase value of mentoring: We want to incentivize mentoring in the community and reward people who do a good job at mentoring. We want to recognize and call out people doing good work and identify role models that others can look to.
  • Sustainable growth: The ratio between mentors and mentees is tricky. Too many mentors or too many mentees is chaotic. Success should not just be increasing numbers for the sake of bigger numbers, but doing it at a pace that is sustainable and doesn’t burn people out.
  • Cross-community partnership: Are there other communities we could co-own this with? How do we spark a wider conversation about mentoring in Open Source? How might other communities participate in our event?
  • More participation in mentoring programs: Google Summer of Code, Google Season of Docs, Major League Hacking, and others. We want to cast a wider net with our engagement in structured mentoring programs.

What we want to get out of this

  • Connection: Friends is an important part of Fedora, and we get more energy and motivation to participate in Fedora when we get to connect with other Fedora Friends. This is part of what sparks joy for contributing to Fedora.
  • Mentor mental health: Better understanding of the health of our mentors in Fedora and how we can better support them in doing great work in the community.
  • To be a mentor: Offer our time and insights to others who are newer to the Fedora community.
  • Increase participation in specific parts of Fedora: Some of us participate in a specific part of the community and want to bring more visibility and excitement to more niche parts of Fedora.

Key participants to include

  • Team leads: People who lead or manage teams of contributors in the Fedora community.
  • Long-term contributors: People with vast knowledge and wisdom about being successful in the Fedora community, and can share that knowledge and insight effectively with others.
  • Recent mentees: People with recent experiences of being mentored in Fedora. What worked well, what didn’t, how could we improve?
  • “Mentor champions”: People who fall outside of the above groups but make a great effort to be good mentors in other parts of the community.

Next steps & actions

Five next steps emerged. One person in our organizer group, or anyone, could help us with some of these:

  • Identify the key tools for collaboration and planning. Where do we do our work and how? Fedora is vast, so where should be focus in on?
  • Program management. Organizing our meeting agendas, coordinating among our team, helping manage deadlines as we work through the event planning.
  • Draft a proposal for key participants and teams to involve in the Mentor Summit. Who should we reach out, what teams are important for our success, how do we involve them in the event?
  • Draft a proposal for programming and event schedule. What will people do during the event? What kinds of presentations or workshops do we want to have?
  • Draft a proposal for outreach and marketing. How do we spread the word about the event and get the announcement in front of the right audience? (this ties into the third action item)

We are convening again in two weeks. One thing that would help me a lot is for different members of our team to step up as a champion for one of the above next steps. This will help us keep momentum and move from the big-picture ideation into the fine-grained details for pulling this together. It will also help me in preparing a budget request for us to pull this event off this year.

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Draft a proposal for key participants and teams to involve in the Mentor Summit. Who should we reach out, what teams are important for our success, how do we involve them in the event?
Draft a proposal for outreach and marketing. How do we spread the word about the event and get the announcement in front of the right audience? (this ties into the third action item)

I think the program management also goes with

Identify the key tools for collaboration and planning. Where do we do our work and how? Fedora is vast, so where should be focus in on?

Can we have a GitLab space for that? Maybe one for different events organized by/with the community, and this event is one of the many.

We could use the built-in functions for issues and the boards. Pagure would also work, but I was told we are moving away from it.

@bogomil Happy to have your support and leadership on these key buckets. Program management is definitely an area that will help us deliver and pull off this year’s event!

@sumantrom Great, it will help to count on you for these ones Sumantro. Could you have a first draft of the key participants / teams proposal by our next meeting on Tuesday, 31 January? Alternatively, should you be in transit that day, we can look at anything you can put together by that meeting.

@bogomil Would it help to have a dedicated repository for the Mentor Summit, or do you think we can use the DEI Team repository? Either is fine, but I’m curious for your preference.