This blog was contributed by Ahmad Bamieh, the Node.js Project Mentorship Working Group Lead.
Node.js Mentorship Working Group
Did you know that Node.js Project has a group that works on connecting seasoned Node.js developers and community members with folks wanting to learn more? It’s true, we have one! The goal of the Mentorship Working Group is to bring more contributors to Node.js Project by mentoring people about the Node.js ecosystem, helping them contribute to Node.js, championing their PRs through code reviews, and providing guidance.
Background and History
Back in early 2018, the Mentorship team kicked off because there was a need to guide newcomers and onboard them into our community. We want continued growth and learning, and one of the best ways we saw to fill this gap was to provide newer members with a direct line to mentor.
Personally, I have struggled to find a way to understand the code base to start contributing; hence I created the mentorship program to help others discover how awesome the Node.js ecosystem is, and that it is not just about code.
My interest in programming was fueled by a mentor. Sure, I could’ve learned how to write code from reading books and watching videos, but without my mentor, I would have never gotten so passionate about programming, or even got the notion that programming is more of an art than a science, it’s a form of expression and creation. I hope the Node.js mentorship program does a similar impact in bringing passionate people to the Node.js community and help people discover its ecosystem.
Node.js still has a bit of a knowledge-silo problem. For example, the bus factor on streams is still two people. The mentorship program directly addresses this issue by focusing the mentoring efforts on specific scopes. Mentors guide mentees in providing insights and hands-on experience in contributing and being an active member in those working groups, initiatives, communities, and code.
Mentees are expected to provide learning assets for the broader community to consume, which helps bring even more contributors. Here are some of our mentees sharing their experience in the last cohort:
- Jennifer was mentored by Ben Coe about testing, share shared a huge amount of assets to the community including videos and blogs (https://github.com/nodejs/mentorship/issues/87) In her own words: “I have been very fortunate to be part of the NodeJS Mentorship program while it is in Beta. I want others to be able to see what the experience has been like.”
I was actually mentored by Dan Shaw (GitHub: dshaw) during the last cohort, and it was one of the best experiences I had. I got to learn a lot from Dan and shared interesting experiences with him. I have recently visited San Francisco where I met Dan in person and it was awesome! During mentorship, he shared with me some of his immense knowledge which enabled me to better lead the program. Without his hands-on guidance, I wouldn’t be as confident or knowledgeable about leading this initiative, and I’ve still got a lot to learn yet.
What has the Mentorship Working Group been up to?
We on the Mentorship working group have been quite busy getting this program off the ground.
We’ve taken some time before announcing this round to make sure the process of this program is scalable enough to allow us to do the following:
- Start new cohorts every few months
- Allow us to bring much more mentors and mentees per cohort without a huge increase in coordination efforts from the mentorship team.
To ensure a great experience, this is the second beta round of the program. The last round we had 4 mentees, this cohort we are starting with 10 mentors, and as we learn, we will add more and more. We know that there is a great demand for this program, and we want it to run smoothly and provide as much value as possible. By starting with a smaller group, we hope we can scale this quickly!
Apply for Mentorship: Node.js Mentorship Application: Second Cohort
Are you are interested in applying as a mentee in the Node.js mentorship program? Great! The duration of the program is 10 weeks and includes a diverse array of mentoring topics. Because we want the program to be meaningful and valuable, mentees should be willing to commit around 4–5 hours a week of their time to sync with their mentor, work on their goals, and share assets about what they are learning. You can read more about the mentorship program here: https://github.com/nodejs/mentorship
For the list of mentors and topics covered, follow this link: https://github.com/nodejs/mentorship/blob/master/JOURNAL.md
To apply, please fill out this Google Form.
If you have questions, please open an issue in the mentorship repo in GitHub.
We hope we can continue to grow this program, as it will be a huge boost to our community and ecosystem. At current we have 10 mentors, and we know the demand for their time is high. To help scale the resources we have today, we are planning the following:
- Coordinate public mentorship sessions for everyone interested to join.
- Mentees will share what they are learning by updating their `mentorship-bios` and sharing resources.
- More frequent cohorts; we are aiming to start preparing for the next cohort during the current round.
- More mentors; we are aiming to increase the pool of mentors for the next round. So far we’ve been trying to limit the number of mentors to make sure we have the smooth process.
Mentorship is not the only way for contributors to hop in and join us at Node.js. We have many many ways for people to start collaborating, mentorship is just another one (albeit really powerful)
Here are some other ways to do so:
- We do have some assets to share created by mentees from the previous round which you can find in the mentorship repo.
- This small guide, created by Rich Trott (GitHub: Trott), is for people to get started contributing to the Node.js code: https://www.nodetodo.org/getting-started/
- Tierney Cyren (Github: bnb ) wrote this awesome guide to learn more about the Node.js ecosystem: https://dev.to/bnb/start-contributing-to-nodejs-in-the-new-year-3dlh
- To help you land your first PR you can also check https://github.com/bnb/good-first-issue
We have a super supportive and friendly community You can reach out to anyone anywhere and you’ll always find help and guidance!
We hope this answers some of your questions and show you a little bit about what mentorship is all about: Creating a personalized experience, building connections, and passing knowledge and bringing quality contributors to different areas in Node.js.
We’re lucky to share this passion for creating the Node.js mentorship program with awesome influential members from Node.js. You are welcome to join us on one of our biweekly meetings anytime to learn more. Always feel free to reach out to any of us at slack, twitter or by email.