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Re: [HACKERS] Seeking Mentors for Funded Reviewers

From: Robert Haas <robertmhaas(at)gmail(dot)com>
To: jd(at)commandprompt(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 21:19:15
Message-ID: AANLkTi=B21zsnBj3iLA5WWk+1+wg-z7tzv=VYZM_iHHG@mail.gmail.com (view raw or flat)
Thread:
Lists: pgsql-hackerspgsql-rrreviewers
On Wed, Jan 26, 2011 at 3:29 PM, Joshua D. Drake <jd(at)commandprompt(dot)com> wrote:
> 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*.

Most people who are making their living from PostgreSQL are getting
paid for work they do for customers.  The work they do in the
community is sponsored, incidental, something that they do for the PR
value, and/or on their own time.  There are only a very, very small
number of people who get paid to spend a significant portion of their
time hacking on PG just for the heck of it.

Now, if you can get enough qualified people to volunteer to review
without paying them, by all means, don't pay them - anything else
would be silly.  But I think that in general people who are earning
their living off of PG are *more* likely to need to be paid, not less.
 My ability to increase the amount of PG stuff I'm doing for free is
zero, if not negative.  It's not that I don't want to.  It's just that
I require both income and sleep.  That's probably not an issue for
people who are just getting started in the community.

Another question is whether you really need assigned mentors at all.
Perhaps if newcomer Alice is assigned to mentor Bob, experienced PG
hacker Charlie will feel he doesn't need to offer advice, because
Bob's got it.  But what if Bob (who isn't getting paid, after all) has
to fly to Tajikistan that week to help somebody who IS paying him?
Then Alice is left hanging.  Or alternatively, what if Alice (knowing
that Bob is her mentor) emails him repeatedly for advice off-list, but
it turns out that Bob is out of step with the community on that
particular issue[1]?  Better to have Alice asking on the list and
getting advice in public.  Very few emails on -hackers go unanswered.

-- 
Robert Haas
EnterpriseDB: http://www.enterprisedb.com
The Enterprise PostgreSQL Company

[1] This has been known to happen.  Even to people who might be
referred to as Bob.  Even today.  I'm just saying.  And don't call me
Bob.

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