Final evaluations for Summer of Code are in full swing, and as the program winds down for the year we've been having some great discussions on the mentor's mailing list about lessons learned during the program. The majority of these conversations have been overwhelmingly positive, and we're looking forward to rolling the feedback from the mailing list and the program evaluations into useful how-to documentation for mentors.
That said, one of our mentors quite rightly pointed out that mentoring is hard work. Mentoring requires a wide variety of skills, most of them having nothing to do with the quality of code a mentor writes: good communication habits, providing encouragement, giving constructive criticism in an effective and useful manner, and proactively determining which points that seem glaringly obvious to folks involved with the project are non-intuitive for newcomers. Mentoring certainly requires a dialogue and level of social interaction that's not necessarily the standard 'procedure' for a particular open source project.
So, a great big thank you to all of our mentors. Your job is a difficult one, and we truly appreciate all your efforts to make your students and Summer of Code successful.
(Oh yeah, and don't forget to turn in your final evaluations.)