I’ve sent this as part of the mentorship feedback through another channel earlier and it was recommended that I also post it directly to the LFX platform team, so I’ll paste what I said earlier as my ideas to improve the mentorship program a little. Not 100% sure if this is the right place to post so, please let me know if should go somewhere else!
I would add to the default set of questions (when applying for the mentorship projects) a few more questions:
GitHub profile link
Direct link(s) to contribution(s) of theirs that they want to highlight/showcase (e.g., links to pull requests sent to any open-source software repository or links to commits if the mentee contributed to their own repository directly)
A 2-minute-long video with them screensharing one or more of their highlighted contributions from 2) and explaining what they did, why and how has it improved the code. No need to have their face on the video, just the screen with the code as they explain it. This could also replace the cover letter (not sure if it should though, but worth pondering).
Ideally there would be a way on LFX to filter down the list of applicants to only those who completed these activities and then export that list to a CSV. The idea with this last one is that as a reviewer/interviewer I want to focus my energy on applicants who put in the time to complete all the required steps to apply.
I agree with Peter. Especially with 2-minute long video - I was using this way of interviewing and it was working perfect!
I have one more suggestion how to improve mentorship project: halve of money for mentees after successful midterm evaluation. Currently mentees are getting all money after internship, which is for halve-time mentees halve of year of hard work without money. Mentees feel that it is not right - they are waiting 3 months for halve of money and not getting them until end of project.
Thank you for the support and the extra ideas Greg!
Reading your response gave me one more idea: We could tie stipend payments to milestones delivered (e.g., pull request having been approved). This might be controversial in the sense that reviews sometimes are super slow (looking at myself here mostly but seen it elsewhere as well).
The upside would be two-fold though:
The payments could be made on a quicker schedule addressing the mentees concerns as Greg said it above.
Mentees would be incentivized to focus on deliverables instead of just running out the clock and making it look good enough to get through.
It would be a little more up-front work from the mentors because they would have to have a specific breakdown of the list of tasks (as before) AND the percentage of the time those tasks should take (and we all know that software project estimation is not exactly an exact science just yet)
Maybe this is already how it’s mostly supposed to happen (my point 2) through the regular feedback forms that the mentors have to fill out but if that is so, then maybe we could at least update the guides for the mentors to be very explicit about it (I’m talking about mistakes I have made - not trying to say that someone else did anything wrong).
I like all of these suggestions, we had planned updates for our mentorship program, but it’s great to hear feedback!
@Chaitan is this something we can consider with the way Mentorship pays out the mentees.
I also agree with many of your requests, it seems that most of your recommendations are to streamline the mentee review process. I know we do have planned updates for the Mentorship program @Chaitan do we have any idea when we could add the Mentorship updates to our product road map?
Thank you for the enhancement ideas. Really appreciate it.
At this moment, I am unable to put a timeline on when we are going to make enhancements. We have had put together new designs for a new iteration of Mentorship, which enhances the end user experience.
As for the payment of stipends, it is completely upto the individual mentorship programs on when they want to make the stipend payments based on the discussion between Program Admins and Mentors. I agree, for part time mentees especially waiting half a year may not be appropriate. So for instance, there have been certain instances wherein certain programs have asked mentees to file for their first stipend right at the start of the program (i.e without having to wait for any milestone evaluation to complete) and in this way, the stipend would arrive right around the time when they complete the 1st evaluation, though not necessarily tied to it. There have been programs that have tried out 1 stipend payment (as opposed to stipends in two installments). The point here is, programs have the flexibility on deciding the payment schedules based on the discussion between Program Admins and Mentors. @Henry_Quaye