Shouldn't you have Your Own Drupal Protegé?
The success of mentor-protégé relationships driving greatness in all kinds of fields stands the test of time, from Socrates and Plato, to Max Plank and Albert Einstein, Emperor Palpatine and Anakin Skywalker (maybe not the best example), and even Dries and Webchick. Philosophy, physics, and even IT are better, and better recognized, because knowledge was shared and ideas were nurtured. There are thousands more examples in hundreds of disciplines.
Now is a great time to take a cue from history and apply the mentoring strategy to the Drupal project with a focused effort. DrupalEasy is ramping up our second Drupal Career Starter Program (DCSP) in August, and one of the enhancements to the program this year is that students are required to put in 5 hours of community time at the direction of a mentor. In a few weeks, the 20 eager protegés, vetted for technical ability and attitude, will be ready to devote 5 hours per week to the Drupal project at the direction of 20 DrupalEasy Community Mentors (this is where you come in!)
About the DCSP
The DCSP is a 10 week course designed to help those seeking the Drupal life with intensive, hands-on training to get them on track quickly to become part of the Drupal community. The Fall 2012 session, which begins on August 21, is specifically for out-of-work residents on Florida's Space Coast who have a background in information technology. Twenty students were selected from more than 180 applications to participate in the program which includes:
- 70 hours of classroom training.
- 40 mandatory lab hours.
- Mandatory Drupal community involvement.
- Grant-supported Drupal internships for those technically qualified at the conclusion of instruction with organizations around the country.
The program is no-cost to students and internship hosts - thanks to funding through the state of Florida.
How Can You Be a Community Mentor?
We're looking for 20 commited community mentors to guide students through the "mandatory Drupal community involvement" portion of the program. A community mentor will be willing to guide a student through becoming an active member of the Drupal community. In any field, mentors help their protegés gain insight, experience and knowledge. We're looking for people who have experience contributing their time and expertise to the community and a willingness to share their experiences and knowledge with others. We expect community mentors to spend 1-2 hours per week working with their student via email, IRC, Skype or any other relevant methods providing directions and support. Protegés will be required to submit weekly reports on their community activities.
What are the Benefits?
The DCSP community mentor element will really enhance the benefits to students, mentors, and the Drupal community as a whole. Fast-tracking new, contributing members to the community will help us grow not only the volume and level of expertise, but also foster the spirit of being an active Drupal volunteer to those new to the project. Protegés will gain appreciation for and experience as open-source volunteers. Community mentors who maintain projects on Drupal.org can focus their protegés 5 or more hours per week on how to write documentation, test patches, or work in issue queues. They will gain not just valuable karma points for helping new contributors learn the ropes, but helping to grow resources for Drupal with a specific focus on their projects.
What Can You Expect From Your Protegé?
The community mentor program will begin concurrently with the first week of classes. Obviously, the students will be green at the start, but their skills will grow week by week. The first few weeks will most likely be focused on getting acquainted and sharing your insights on a Drupal career and ways to volunteer. We anticipate that most students will be able to assist with documentation early in the process, then move on to working in issue queues on simple tasks (attempting to reproduce issues and answering simple questions), followed by more advanced troubleshooting and patch testing. Each student will devote a minimum of 5 hours per week working on community tasks at the direction of their mentor.
How Can You Become a Community Mentor?
Applications are now closed - we have only 20 students, so we're looking for 20 people with a solid track record in the Drupal community as well as a serious desire to help make a difference in the development of future Drupal contributors.