[python-committers] RFC: Process to become a core developer

Victor Stinner victor.stinner at gmail.com
Thu Dec 7 17:38:14 EST 2017

2017-12-07 19:21 GMT+01:00 Antoine Pitrou <antoine at python.org>:
>> == Step 2: Bug Triage Permission ==
>> Once a contributor becomes active enough, a core developer can propose
>> to give the bug triage permission to the contributor.
> It sounds like you are not taking into account what was said by various
> people during the previous discussion.

I did, but I'm not sure that you (Antoine and others) understand
properly my intent.

Please see the reply that I just sent on the other "Requirements to
get the "bug triage" permission?" thread.

>> == Step 3: Getting a mentor ==
>> Python project is big and has a long history. Contributors need a
>> referrer to guide them in this wild and dangerous (!) project, and in
>> the development workflow.
> Perhaps you are overdoing this? :-)

Maybe, who knows? :-)

>> Required mentor skills:
>> * Be a core contributor.
>> * Be available at least during one whole month.
>> * Follow the contributor: must get an update at least once a week,
>> especially if the contributor doesn't show up.
> I'm afraid these requirements may make the process actually harder than
> it currently is.  What if there is no potential mentor available?  This
> reminds of the Google Summer of Code...

I would lie if I would say that being a mentor is a trivial task that
doesn't take any time. But from what I hear around me, mentoring the
*key* difference to train faster motivated contributors.

A single people cannot be the mentor of too many contributors at the
same time. The bootstrap is going to be hard :-(

Oh, if you didn't see it yet, I strongly suggest to watch Mariatta
Wijaya's talk about mentoring at the last Pycon US:

She explained that mentoring is also valuable for the mentor! It goes
in both directions.

Another option is the idea proposed in parenthesis, that contributors
mentor them each other. I wouldn't count as the official required
mentoring, but it would help anyway. I think that it is already
happening right now on the core-mentorship mailing list, helping each

In the past, I mentored Xavier De Gaye and Xiang Zhang during one
month *after* they became core developers. Honestly, it took me less
than one hour per week. Ok, maybe they are not the best examples of
contributors, since they already had a good background. But I'm not
less afraid of being a mentor ;-)

The "Step 3: Getting a mentor" isn't the first step just after "Step
0: Newcomers". The expectation is that the contributor already knows
enough about Python workflow and code, before getting a mentor.

For steps before the step 3, there is already the core-mentorship
mailing list. IMHO this list is working well as intended. People who
reply are kind, take time to explain, and contributors usually get a
reply quickly. Bonus point: multiple core developers can be found
there and actually answer, including Guido van Rossum!

Mariatta got Guido van Rossum as a mentor (and also Raymond Hettinger
if I understood correctly) and it was very successful, she became
"quickly" a core developer and she is now involved in many parts of
the Python development! (Sorry Mariatta to "use you" as an example!)
I'm taking Mariatta as a concrete example of the success of mentoring.


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