Mentorship can play a key role in career development, by expanding your professional network and providing new opportunities in which to grow your skills and your confidence. In this Careers article, we’ll explore the value of mentorships and list resources to help you get started.
Diversity and Sustainability
Mentoring and internship programs, besides being important to career growth, are also crucial to open source software development. For example, they serve to teach and engage newcomers, lower barriers to entry, and help improve the sustainability of open source projects.
“Part of starting, or growing, a successful open source community is designing the community to be sustainable,” says Karsten Wade at the Red Hat blog. “This means the project needs to be able to reliably, and repeatedly, bring in new people and help them become ongoing contributors.”
Mentorships also serve as a way to bring more diverse contributions to critical work, explain Nithya Ruff and Jennifer Cloer in an article highlighting participants in the Linux kernel mentorship program.
Increasing diversity and thereby changing the culture of a community is important for many reasons, they state, “but it’s incredibly important for women, because Linux and open source software are innovation and economic engines. We must build more inclusive spaces throughout open source so that women of all backgrounds can both contribute to the technology that will define our future and prosper financially from those contributions.”
Toward that end, we’ve compiled the following resources to help everyone find an open source internship or mentoring program that matches their interests and meets their needs.
Internships and Mentorships
Here’s a sampling of programs to consider:
- Debian: Mentorship program
- Fedora: Mentorship program
- FreeBSD: Informal mentor matching
- Free Software Foundation Europe: Internship and trainee program (paid)
- GNOME: Internship program (paid)
- Igalia Coding Experience Program (paid)
- ISCAS: Open Source Promotion Plan (paid)
- KDE: Mentorship program
- Linux Kernel Mentorship Program
- LF Networking: Mentorship program
- Open Mainframe Project: Mentorship program
- Outreachy: Internship program for underrepresented people in tech (paid)
- Quantum Open Source Foundation: Mentorship program
- RISC-V: Mentorship program
Summer of Code Programs
Summer of Code (SoC) programs offer even more opportunities to learn and engage with open source projects and communities. Check out the timelines, relevant rules, and codes of conduct for these SoC-style programs and make a plan to participate:
- ESA: Summer of Code in Space
- GirlScript: Summer of Code
- Google: Season of Docs
- Google: Summer of Code
- Rails Girls: Summer of Code
- X.Org: Endless Vacation of Code