PUMP - Potential Ubuntu Member Program!

I had an :bulb: idea.

Within our community, there are individuals actively contributing to Ubuntu who, for reasons that are hard to understand, haven’t sought Ubuntu membership.

From conversations and stories shared within our circles, it appears some contributors might underestimate their efforts, believing perhaps that their level of activity isn’t significant, or that their contributions don’t meet some perceived threshold of value or impact.

Although this perception might hold true for a few, I’m convinced it doesn’t apply to all. I see many within our ranks as ‘unsung heroes’—individuals who, with just a bit of encouragement or perhaps a small additional effort, could cross the threshold where they feel confident enough to apply for membership.

Announcing…

PUMP - Potential Ubuntu Member Program!

This is my vision for its implementation: Members currently within our community—be it developers, council leaders, or community advocates—would step forward to mentor both new and existing contributors. The ultimate aim is to guide these individuals toward becoming Ubuntu Members, and PUMP them up!

This mentorship would involve regular interactions between the mentor and mentee, utilizing whichever communication platform they mutually prefer. Mentors would offer guidance, encouragement, and answers to questions, all designed to support the mentee’s growth and progress on their path to membership, and keep them PUMPED!

How it works:

We’ll establish an accessible wiki page on Discourse where current members can volunteer as mentors by listing their names alongside their areas of expertise—such as development, archive administration, documentation, snap packaging, etc.

Mentees, in turn, are encouraged to browse this list and reach out to a potential mentor via direct message on the forum (or through IRC or Matrix, depending on preference) to inquire about their availability for mentorship.

It’s advisable for mentors to manage how many mentees they take on to ensure the mentorship remains manageable and enjoyable, rather than becoming burdensome or akin to an additional job. The aim is for this to be a positive, straightforward, and rewarding experience for everyone involved.

Once a mentor-mentee pair is established, they should collaboratively set a realistic goal for achieving Ubuntu membership and outline a plan to reach it. This process should be flexible and tailored to the specific contributions the mentee will make during this period.

When the mentee is ready to apply for membership, they can proceed through the standard application process on Discourse, with the added advantage of having a mentor—and possibly other contributors—who can personally attest to their contributions, work ethic, precision, and communication skills.

What does everyone think? PUMPED?

18 Likes

popey
Outstanding idea !

With my Membership Board hat on - I will be very interested in how this proposal proceeds.

Cheers

7 Likes

Awesome idea, I love it! Certainly sign me up as a mentor. It would be useful for mentors (and maybe mentees) to capture ideas along the way, like some best practices to help ensure the mentee gets the most out of the relationship and successfully earns membership. Maybe a discourse category?

@popey thanks for suggesting this, your sustained passion for our community inspires me!

6 Likes

I love this! Sign me up to become a mentee! :smiley:

@popey Thank you for your suggestion!

3 Likes

What a great idea. Love it.

3 Likes

Great idea.
Guess its time to jump in.

1 Like

I am interested to be a mentee.

What to-do next ?

4 Likes

Ok, good to see people are on board. Thanks for the responses, everyone.

I’ll create a very lightweight wiki page here with the process, and maybe it can be shared around the community to get people engaged.

Watch this space. :eyeglasses:

5 Likes

This is a great initiative, thank you Alan for proposing it. I’d love to see more people step up as Ubuntu Members and make a difference.

I’m wondering what might be a good way to ensure the list of mentors stays up to date? I can imagine folks might be quick to add themselves, but it certainly might end a frustrating experience if a mentee reaches out and gets more than one rejection.

Would a launchpad group with a shorter expiry/renewal time be a good mechanism?

4 Likes

Thanks for the feedback @kewisch

I was initially thinking “keep it lightweight” in terms of process. A wiki page here on discourse for example. It feels to me like a “peer to peer” sort of project. Where people manage their own time, as part of their contribution to Ubuntu. One thing I’m afraid of is too much “admin” or “reporting” overhead, which might put people off.

I thought perhaps a table like this:

Mentor Skills mentee 1 mentee 2 mentee 3
@popey snapcraft vacant vacant vacant
@kewisch community vacant vacant vacant

With a few lines of process around it. Something like (for the new mentee):

  1. Ping the mentor with sufficient capacity and appropriate skills for mentoring and find out if they have time to mentor
  2. Agree a set of achievable goals, timeline, and method of communication with the mentor
  3. Add yourself to one of the vacant slots so everyone can see who is busy/loaded

That’s all very rough and off the top of my head. This ensures that any of us can easily see who is mentoring whom and who might need additional help. For example, if a desktop engineer has a mentee, and it’s beta freeze or something, other mentors can help.

Maybe a mentoring channel on Matrix could be set up so people can ask real-time questions of mentors, other mentees, and additional interested parties. Mentees may also want private conversations with their mentors to save potential embarrassment.

I think there could also be a set of simple guidelines for mentors:

  1. Only volunteer to mentor if you have capacity
  2. Set reasonable deadlines
  3. Communicate regularly
  4. Keep the discourse/wiki up to date with your status - step down if you need to

Then (volunteering you), the Community Team could check in (briefly) with mentors and mentees to ensure the process is working. This could also be very lightweight.

I get that Launchpad is a logical “home” for this, and if people end up here and are looking for membership, we can rightly assume they are familiar with both Launchpad and the concept of groups over there. Not sure what additional value it offers, other than nagging people to make sure they’re still in the mentor group :smiley:

I think what I’m getting at is this is a very human:human process and doesn’t need a lot of technology. It does, however, need humans :smiley:

5 Likes

Such a great idea. Loving seeing it get adopted.

2 Likes

Love the idea but I think the biggest issue will be finding these contributing candidates and convincing them it’s even worthwhile to invest the time and effort to become a member.

1 Like

I would love to find a mentor for the Art/Design/UI/UX skills.
Maybe someone from the Yaru Gnome Team? Let me know if anyone would have me as a mentee.

よろしくお願いします
m(_ _)m

This other idea might be a good fit for you if you’re looking to contribute graphical sorts of things:

3 Likes