REQUEST FOR COMMENTS: Proposal for a Beginner’s Mentor Role

Reference – link to the initial discussion

Having experienced first-hand and from interaction with new members of the docs team that they usually find it difficult to settle in and contribute to the team, I strongly feel there’s a need to have a mentor for new members. Someone who helps point new members in the right direction and respond to their inquiries.

The holder(s) of the role could be responsible for:

  • Making new members feel welcome
  • Helping new members settle in and navigate docs channel/resources
  • Answering questions and concerns from new members
  • Following up on new members
  • Assisting first-time notetakers/facilitators
  • Updating the docs team of new members, as well as their activities

Even though beginners can always ask questions in the #docs channel, due to our busy schedule, these questions seldom get a prompt response. It is also worth taking into consideration that not everyone is comfortable asking questions in public forums.

While we’re working and updating handbooks to make it easier for team members to contribute, people will always feel the need to talk to someone and ask certain questions to help them have a better understanding.

We all sometimes get lost even when a piece of information is right in front of us. This at times could be due to not being familiar with the environment and is probably why there are tour guides in well mapped out and documented places.

New members often join with a lot of zeal and passion to contribute, and if we can give them the assistance they need to contribute while the spark is still there, there will be no limit to what they can help the team accomplish.

Finally, this role should be recognized as a contribution to the docs team and given importance like every other role.

Please leave your thoughts and suggestions in the comments. Thank you!