The Value of Mentorship in Open Source

Internships play a key role in the world of open source development, as explained in this article covering internships to build your tech skills. And, as you evaluate internships, it’s important to look for programs and projects that provide solid mentorship as well. Working with a mentor can not only grow your skills and your confidence, it can also expand your professional network.

Building Relationships

“Mentors can teach new developers about the culture and customs of the open source community, as well as the technical aspects of working on open source projects,” says Shuah Khan in a recent Linux Foundation report. “They may offer guidance and support while also being a source of inspiration for innovative concepts. In addition, mentorship programs can help build relationships between people of different ages, experiences, and backgrounds.” 

Here are a few mentorship programs to check out: 

The Linux Foundation Mentorship program also offers many opportunities within its ecosystem of projects, including:

Sustaining 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.”

“Bringing in new developers and training them is obvious, right?” says Khan. “When new developers come in, they bring in a new point of view, injecting relevant new ideas like when companies hire new people. Similarly, teaching open source philosophy and the importance of open source early on, in the early part of their careers, will be beneficial to them.”

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