The Apache Software Foundation

Meritocracy in Action.


The Local Mentors project aims to allow people getting started in Apache (both within the Formal Mentoring Program , and everyone else) to meet up with existing Apache developers in their area.

Why?

When you're getting involved in a new open source project, it can be a little daunting. You engage in the mailing lists with people from all around the world. You solve bugs with people in different time zones. You develop patches with people from different languages and cultures. Perhaps you have a mentor (Formal or informal) from your project, but the chances area, they're a thousand miles away.

This global reach is some of where open source derives its power from. However, for many people approaching it for the first time, it can present an odd challenge.

No matter which project you're involved in, there may well be some things that you're finding a little different or difficult that are specific to where you are. Perhaps you'd like some tips on making the best use of the time zone difference between yourself and a couple of the main developers on the project? Perhaps English isn't your first language, and you'd like to double check some points of technical language that are leading to confusion? Perhaps you'd like to chat over some of the cultural differences that you've spotted? Or maybe you've just spent a lot of time communicating about open source electronically, and you'd really like to see a real face for once!

That's where the local mentor project steps in. Find an existing Apache committer near you, head to a cafe or pub, grab a coffee or a beer, and have a chat. They probably won't know your project, but they'll hopefully know the rest!

If you're looking for a local mentor

First up, make sure a local mentor's the right thing for you. The Local Mentoring project has different aims to the Formal Mentoring Program . If you're after someone who knows your project, or someone who's available over a prolonged period of time, then the Formal Mentoring Program is a better fit.

However, if you'd like to meet up with someone to put a friendly face on the ASF, and discuss open source and Apache from where you are, hopefully in your own language, then this might be the right thing for you.

To find a local mentor, please visit http://community.zones.apache.org/

Using http://community.zones.apache.org/ , you simply need to enter your location, and search for Apache committers willing to act as local mentors near you. Drop them an email to introduce yourself. However, please remember that they will be giving up their time to meet and help you, so you'll almost certainly need to work to their location and availability!

While Apache has committers in almost all corners of the world, not all of them are currently part of the local mentoring program. As such, you might discover that you can't find anyone near you. In that case, either look for people near where you might visit in the future, or failing that, see if any other open source foundations or local groups have anything near you.

How existing Apache Committers can get involved

If you think you could spare the odd hour everyone once in a while, to sit down over a beer or a coffee and chat about Open Source and the Apache Way, then we'd love you to get involved! You're not signing up to a long-term mentoring relationship (see the Formal Mentoring Program if you're interested in that though) Just every so often, helping out someone who lives near you.

Firstly, you'll need a FOAF entry on people.apache.org. Take a look at http://people.apache.org/foaf/ for instructions on setting this up if you haven't already done so. Next, ensure that you have listed your location - we need that to be able to let people search for you.

Now, if you haven't already done so, checkout the committers directory from svn:

svn co https://svn.apache.org/repos/private/committers/

Edit local-outreach/CommunityDevelopment.rdf and add yourself in as a helper. If your FOAF file is in svn and showing up on people.apache.org, add in:

 <helper>
   <foaf:Person rdf:resource="urn:org:apache:[your username].rdf" />
 </helper>

If you have your FOAF file externally hosted, then the rdf:resource should point to the URL of the file.

For an apache committer with username "foo", your entry would be one of:

 <helper>
   <foaf:Person rdf:resource="urn:org:apache:foo.rdf" />
 </helper>
 <helper>
   <foaf:Person rdf:resource="http://www.example.com/foaf/foo.rdf" />
 </helper>

Within 24 hours of committing your addition to local-outreach/CommunityDevelopment.rdf, you should appear in the web application! Head over to http://community.zones.apache.org/ a day later a check you're listed properly