DrupalCon is a great opportunity to learn all kinds of new skills and grow professionally. For the 3 days of the main conference in Dublin (September 27–29) there will be sessions on just about everything related to Drupal that you could want. One amazing opportunity that you may not be aware of though is the Mentored Sprint on Friday, September 30th. This is a great place for new folks to learn the ropes of our community and how to contribute back. What may be less talked about is the chance to be a mentor.
Why mentor at DrupalCon?
Mentoring provides you the opportunity to positively impact others while also gaining a lot for yourself. Through helping others one-on-one, you’ll find that your own confidence grows from sharing your knowledge. You'll also probably pick up a trick or two in the process, and you'll have great opportunities to learn from the other mentors in the group. In addition to helping people directly, you’ll make new connections with others in the community and walk away inspired and refueled to do more. Even if you’ve never mentored before, the mentor group has put a lot of effort into making the mentoring experience just as awesome and fun as for the learners.
What does mentoring involve?
Most mentors help new contributors set up their development environments, find tasks, and work on issues. You will go through mentor training that explains the tasks in detail and shows you how to help others find good issues to dig into. You should have experience setting up your own local environment and using the Drupal.org issue queue. There are a number of other tasks to help with as well though, like doing ticket triage ahead of time to make issue-finding easier during the sprints, doing issue reviews, or even just helping organize the day and make sure people know where to be. You’ll even get a special DrupalCon shirt just for mentors.
Sprint and Workshop
In addition to the main Mentored Core Sprint, there is also a First-time Sprinter Workshop for people who are completely brand new. This workshop runs from 9am–12pm and makes sure everyone is set up properly and understands how the issue queue and community process works. This is a more structured environment and where you really set up the foundation for a successful day. You may find yourself involved in both of these events throughout the day, and they are both great fun.
We highly recommend getting involved in the sprint day, whether as a mentor or a mentee. It’s been a very rich experience for us on the Drupalize.Me team, as Blake said after he volunteered as a mentor at DrupalCon New Orleans:
I was incredibly impressed by the organization of the mentored core sprint on Friday. I came into the week feeling pretty jaded, and left feeling like I had fun and helped empower a few new contributors. It was a pretty great way to end the week. Kudos to the folks that have developed the mentor prep materials, the sprint on-boarding process is so much better than it used to be.
— Drupalize.Me (@drupalizeme) May 13, 2016