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Re: [HACKERS] Seeking Mentors for Funded Reviewers

From: "Joshua D(dot) Drake" <jd(at)commandprompt(dot)com>
To: Robert Haas <robertmhaas(at)gmail(dot)com>
Cc: Richard Broersma <richard(dot)broersma(at)gmail(dot)com>, Simon Riggs <simon(at)2ndquadrant(dot)com>, Josh Berkus <josh(at)agliodbs(dot)com>, pgsql-rrreviewers(at)postgresql(dot)org, postgres hackers <pgsql-hackers(at)postgresql(dot)org>
Subject: Re: [HACKERS] Seeking Mentors for Funded Reviewers
Date: 2011-01-26 20:29:23
Message-ID: 1296073763.9070.299.camel@jd-desktop (view raw or flat)
Thread:
Lists: pgsql-hackerspgsql-rrreviewers
On Wed, 2011-01-26 at 14:15 -0500, Robert Haas wrote:
> On Wed, Jan 26, 2011 at 1:32 PM, Richard Broersma
> <richard(dot)broersma(at)gmail(dot)com> wrote:
> > On Wed, Jan 26, 2011 at 3:12 AM, Simon Riggs <simon(at)2ndquadrant(dot)com> wrote:
> >> You're paying the reviewers; are you paying the mentors?
> >
> > The answer to this question is that we can fund mentor (teacher).  However,
> > the amount to fund a mentor would be significantly less that the amount to
> > fund a reviewer (student).  The mentors are part of the educational process.
> 
> Usually, in an educational process, it's the teachers who get paid,
> and the students who have to pay to get educated.  I realize this is
> somewhat different because we want to encourage people to get involved
> in the project, but it still seems weird.

Not somewhat, completely. Most of the "teachers" we have are already
getting paid to work on PostgreSQL. There are some exceptions of course
but if you look at the list of people that are qualified to actually
review code, they are getting paid *for PostgreSQL*.

Now, that isn't to say you don't bring up a good point, you do. I think
it may be worthwhile to find a way to also compensate mentors but as you
say the goal here is encourage people to get involved. However there is
the underlying goal of educating future PostgreSQL contributors, and
let's face it --- reviewing code sucks and money is a great motivator
(especially in today's economy or if you are a starving student).

>   And I actually kind of
> agree with David Fetter.  Aside from the scenario he mentioned (people
> who don't get paid stop volunteering, a phenomenon that has been
> documented to occur in other contexts),

You have people that are in it for the money. There is nothing wrong
with that. Hopefully through this grant they will gain enough skill and
public notice to pick up a job where they might be able to give back to
the community on a paid basis (probably not, but maybe).

If people stop volunteering cause there is no money, then we care why?
They are likely not vested in the community anyway. Either way, the
mission has been accomplished. They were paid to be educated and learn
the review/commitfest process, they did so. If they wish to move on,
that's up to them.

Do we want them to stay? Of course! However, I fail how to see the
concern has anything to do with the grant process.

>  there's also the problem that
> people might sign up to get the money but then do a lousy job. 

Well that is the risk we all face and if the mentor feedback was that
the person did a lousy job (let's assume they were just lazy, not that
they tried really hard but weren't up to the task), then they would risk
ever receiving future grants.

>  People
> sometimes do a lousy job now too, but at least we can count on the
> fact that everyone who signs up to do it has some intrinsic
> motivation.

I think anyone who is going to make it through a grant process
specifically for this purpose is going to have some intrinsic motivation
beyond money. We aren't talking about shelling out 50k here.

Sincerely,

Joshua D. Drake

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