GNOME Board Mentor Program

What is the mentor program

In the past few weeks, the board has been discussing the idea of creating some mentorship "program" for new board members: the idea would be that newly elected board members could ask someone who used to be on the board to mentor them and help them in general.

We started this program just after GUADEC 2010. There are two parts for this program:

1. Mail list for all mentors and mentees discussion : board-mentor-list[at]

  • Someone who has questions, need to discuss some topics or share basic informations, and he/she found it might be also helpful for new boards, board-mentor-list[at] is a good place.

2. Official Mentor-mentee pairs

  • The period for mentor - mentee pairs is last one year. For example, this year is 2010 September - 2011 August.
  • The mentor and mentee are encouraged to Communicate with each other regularly. The frequency and communication channel are up to them to decided.(IRC, Email, Phone, Skype, face-to-face meet etc.)
  • Every mentee can choose more than 3 mentors regarding different area he/she want to learn and develop.
  • Every mentor can mentor more than one mentee, it is up to his/her time and interests.

The process of GNOME Board Mentor Program

1. First we can create a wiki page about the mentor program, and let's call it "GNOME Board Mentoring Program".

2. We can create mentor pool on the wiki page, we would like to invite all the previous/current board to sign up to this pool. Once sign up, we will need your below information:

  • Photo
  • Bio
  • Your role, achievement, contribution during your working in the board
  • Can you list your top three contributions/work in when serving in the GNOME board
  • Your current work, field, interests etc.
  • Your words to the new board: How to become a better board member

We should set a deadline for this sign up pool, how about one week after the GUADEC? Let's say August 6th, 2010 ? 3. All the new board members also need to put some information on the wiki page:

  • Photo
  • Bio
  • Your role in the board this year
  • Your top three goals (For example, I want to learn about fund raise, how to better manager users group, How to promote friend of GNOME or GNOME store, how to be a secretory/ treasure/ chairman, etc...)

4. All the new board members can choose up to 3 mentors in their wish list. Of course, they can choose only 1 person as your mentor. Also list your reason why you want to choose this person as your mentor. The wish list will be sent to the program moderator. ( I am happy to take this role. ) Let's set a deadline for collecting the wish list, August 10th, 2010 ?

The format of the wish list is simple, for example :

  • Wish list from Emily Chen 1). Germán Póo-Caamaño
    • I am interested in treasure's role, I would like to learn from Germán of how to work as a treasurer.
    2). XXX XXX
    • I would like to learn ... from ...., ...
    3). XXX XXX
    • Reason: ... of course, you can choose one person as your mentor, for example:

1). Vincent Untz 2). Vincent Untz 3). Vincent Untz

All the wish list will be kept as private email.

5. Matching I will contact with potential mentors based on the wish list from new board, . There might several requests for one mentors. The mentor can make the decision of choose which mentee, they can mentor on one mentee or mentor two or three mentees at the same time, it is up to the mentor.

Since we only have four new board, the mapping should be very easy and quick. Let's make a deadline: Send out the wish list to mentors : August 11th, 2010 Waiting for the feedback from mentors and matching time : August 13th, 2010 Announce the matching result and publish on wiki page: August 16th, 2010

6. Mentoring program start The conversation between mentor and mentees can be in several ways: 1) email 2) phone call 3) irc 4) it can be a regular meeting or you can ask any time if mentee any have questions.

Since we want to make less formal, so you can choose any channel you wan to communicate with your mentor/mentee.

7. Development plan, survey, blog, document, etc. Since each mentee has goals, it would be better if we can track this goal, development plan will be a good method to measure our goals, how it has been completed.

Our New Boards in Mentor Program 2010 August- 2011 August

  • Andreas Nilsson
  • Bastien Nocera
  • Emily Chen
  • Og Maciel
  • Paul Cutler

=== Og Maciel ===

  • Bio

    • Og Maciel is serving for the first time in the Board. He works exclusively with upstream projects, committing Brazilian Portuguese translations to GNOME, XFCE, LXDE, MeeGo as well as helping out with Openbox and KDE translations. Og is deeply involved with several projects, including Transifex, Foresight Linux and MeeGo. He also

maintains a project called BillReminder, where he gets to flex his programming muscles whenever he has some free time.

  • Role in the board this year

    • My goal is to absorb as much as I can from the seasoned board members so that I can ask all the right questions. I also want to be supportive of the decisions taken by the whole and land a hand whenever and wherever help is needed.
  • Top three goals

    • Learn more about the finances
    • Learn more about the release process and who makes what decisions
    • Get the board more involved with the release process and decision making process related to it
    • Learn more about accessibility

=== Andreas Nilsson ===


  • Bio

    • Andreas Nilsson. Freelance designer from Gothenburg, Sweden. Been involved in GNOME since 2005.
  • Role in the board this year

    • Vice Chairman.
  • Top three goals

    • Improve upstream-downstream relationship
    • Promote GNOME
    • Get new contributors

=== Emily Chen===

  • Bio

    • I have participated with the GNOME Community since 2006. Now I continue working with GNOME community because I believe in GNOME. I worked on LDTP project and participated in Google Summer of Code in 2006 and 2007 on GNOME LDTP project as a mentor. In 2008, I started the GNOME.Asia which is a annualy GNOME event in Asian countries. I organized the GNOME.Asia Summit 2008 in China, GNOME.Asia Summit 2009 in Vietnam and COSCUP / GNOME.Asia 2010 in Taiwan. Also, I start the Beijing GNOME Users Group in Beijing since Nov, 2008. Now the Beijing GNOME Users Group is one of the most active free software organizations in Beijing. I want to make GNOME grow in Beijing, China, and Asia. It is meaningful to promote GNOME to more people, especially in Asia, because I see many opportunities and a strong software community here in Asian.
  • Role in the board this year

    • Vice Treasurer.
  • Top three goals

    • Grow GNOME in Asia, build GNOME Users Groups in Asia, organize GNOME.Asia summit every year
    • Learn about finance and budget plan for the GNOME foundation
    • Promote GNOME, get new contributors, like help to develop the GNOME Store, build GNOME Users Groups, and spread the message about GNOME to our world

Mentors pool

  • Stormy Peters
  • Behdad Esfahbod
  • Dave Neary
  • Jonathan Blandford
  • Luis Villa
  • Lucas Rocha
  • Glynn Foster
  • Brian Cameron
  • Germán Póo-Caamaño

Luis Villa


  • Bio

    • Luis is a member of the legal team at Mozilla, and a member of the California bar, focusing on technology and licensing law. Luis studied law at Columbia, where he graduated with honors, was Editor-in-Chief of the Science and Technology Law Review, and was awarded the prize for excellence in Intellectual Property studies for his class.

      Before law school, Luis worked in software, including several years working on the GNOME Linux desktop at a small startup (Ximian, Inc.), later acquired by Novell. He also spent a year at Harvard Law School's Berkman Center as 'geek in residence', working on a variety of projects, including and the h2o educational web software project. Luis's undergraduate education was at Duke University, where he majored in political science and computer science. While at Duke, Luis attended over one hundred basketball games while wearing a devil mask, and co-authored Extreme Mindstorms: An Advanced Guide To Lego Mindstorms.

  • Your role, achievement, contribution during your working in the board

    • I did all kinds of things, though mostly focused on structural. Also served as (co?-)chair for a year or two. Resigned two (three?) times :)

  • Can you list your top three contributions/work in when serving in the GNOME board

    • Oy, that is a hard one... let me get back to you on that :) 'nothing was set on fire during any of my terms'? :)

  • Your current work, field, interests etc

    • Lawyer for Mozilla.
  • Your words to the new board in one sentence: How to become a better board

    • Stay organized and task-focused; consider using a task-tracking system? We tried that before, and it didn't work great, but maybe worth trying again?

Brian Cameron


  • Bio

    • Brian has been serving on the board since December, 2007 and has acted as secretary since July 2008. Brian has been involved with event planning for GNOME.Asia Summit events and organizing the GNOME Usability hackfest in London in February, 2010. Brian has been working on improving the GNOME brand marketing agreements and the Employee Handbook.
  • Can you list your top three contributions/work in when serving in the GNOME board

    1. Acting as secretary.
    2. Helping with event planning.
    3. Assisting with legal issues.
  • Your current work, field, interests etc

    • Find ways to get involved with various GNOME teams and act as a representative for the board within these teams. You can often find useful things to work on through such involvement. For example, the GNOME marketing, legal, and developing-world teams tend to be areas where board members can find ways to get involved.
  • Your words to the new board in one sentence: How to become a better board

    • Stay organized and task-focused; consider using a task-tracking system? We tried that before, and it didn't work great, but maybe worth trying again?

Dave Neary

  • Bio

    • I started working on free software as a developer in 1999 with the GIMP. Around 2002, I had less time for hacking & ended up drifting into other stuff - fundraising, event organisation, and release management. I first started contributing to GNOME for GUADEC 2003 in Kristiansand, where the GIMP developers also had their annual meeting. I've been involved in GUADEC organisation to some degree every year since. I got elected to the board at the end of 2003, and served 2.5 terms, including a term as chairman and half a term as treasurer, until time constraints led me to resign. Since then, I have tried to help stay abreast of issues related to GUADEC, fundraising, budget management, hiring and advisory board relations, and to propose ideas such as the GNOME Census and GUADEC developer training as I see opportunities arise.

  • My role, achievement, contribution during your working in the board

    • Chairman in 2005, treasurer in 2006, launched the annual report at the end of 2005 and wrote much of the report for 2005 and 2006, established a provisional foundation budget in 2006 for (I believe) the first time. Worked on an unsuccessful effort to open a GNOME store in 2004. Recruited several new members to GNOME advisory board. Increased foundation budget substantially with GUADEC sponsorship and a second membership level for small companies on advisory board.
  • Can you list your top three contributions/work in when serving in the GNOME board
    1. Launching GNOME Annual Report
    2. Preparing initial GNOME Foundation budget
    3. Co-ordinating hiring process for executive director (and convincing Stormy to be a candidate)
  • Your current work, field, interests etc.
    1. GUADEC (although less & less)

    2. Independent community development consultancy (training, designing & implementing community processes, event organisation)

  • Your words to the new board: How to become a better board member
    • Pick a big problem you care about. Ask the board if anyone else is working on it, search board list archives and see if it's been worked on in the past. Reach out to others who've worked on it. And then make the issue your own. Listen, distill, then propose a solution & execute. The important thing is that you do all that in a public way, leaving breadcrumbs for others who might come after you.

Lucas Rocha


  • Bio

    • I’m a Brazilian guy from Salvador, Bahia. I love hacking and music. I live in the rainy lands of England with my lovely wife Carol and our little daughter Julia. I’m a software developer working for litl on the development of exciting consumer eletronics based on free software. In my free time, I’m a happy GNOME contributor doing several things in the community.
  • Your role, achievement, contribution during your working in the board

    • - Annual report - Friends of GNOME - Lots of misc tasks (hackfest, outreach program, marketing, community, etc) PS: To be honest, I'm terrible at remembering what I did in the past. I'll stick with the top 3 contributions here :-P
  • Your current work, field, interests etc

    • I currently work for litl, a company that develops computers that are simple, engaging, and connected based on F/OSS - especially GNOME technologies. I'm an avid music fan and enjoy photography. I have a personal interest in F/OSS communities, simplicity in software design, and social sciences.
  • Your current work, field, interests etc

    • It takes a few months for a new Board member to get up to speed in the daily work of the directors. Don't worry, this is quite normal. As the times passes, you'll get a better idea about the areas you feel more comfortable to contribute to. Try to focus on the areas that you can give your best (according to your aptitudes), don't hesitate to ask questions whenever you feel lost, and be proactive. Being part of the Board is a very rewarding work because you're given an opportunity to support the community in many ways.

Mentor - Mentee match pair during September 2010 - 2011 August

  • 1. Luis Villa - Paul Culter
  • 2. Germán Póo-Caamaño - Emily Chen and Og Maciel
  • 3. Stormy Peters - Og Maciel
  • 4. Vincent Untz - Andreas Nilsson
  • 5. Lucas Rocha - Andreas Nilsson
  • 6. Dave Neary - Emily Chen
  • 7. Brian Cameron - Emily Chen

Attic/BoardMentorProgram (last edited 2013-12-03 14:11:13 by WilliamJonMcCann)