My Experience as Mentor

(Shivam Singhal) #1

My experience as a coach started in 2017 when I started Mozilla Club in my college in Delhi. Being one of the first Campus Ambassador, I started with self-learning and sharing what I know with friends and like-minded people. I started my contribution with code and localization. It took me a lot of time and effort to understand how Open Source works and how we can be a part of it through communities like Mozilla and I felt a need to help those who struggle to get into the community to learn, share and use their skills for the good. So, I started organizing small meetups to help enthusiastic and passionate people in the community and most of them became part of our small team which eventually was called Ignited Minds Moz-NIEC. In the beginning, our community was mainly focused on imparting skills and awareness among the students in the region and encourage them to contribute to the open source projects, especially Mozilla.

In late 2017, I started developing firefox extensions and mentoring other students in my region, and now there are more than 10 contributors I mentored till now who have more than 3 patches in Mozilla source code. They develop VR Scenes, build firefox extensions and a lot more.

Following the GROW model, we used to hold meetings (offline and sometimes online) to discuss past initiatives, their impact, recruit new members, give them tasks considering their expertise, plan future strategy, events, and the roadmap.

In Delhi, I used to hold meetings with the members to discuss the activities and help them recruit new members, enhance their skills and devise their plan for future events and initiatives keeping in view the focus, goals, and programs of Mozilla community in general.

I feel the better way to coach someone in the community like Mozilla is to be friendly with them and not to show any kind of superiority and follow ‘Learning by doing’ paradigm. Having a fruitful meeting once or twice every 2-3 months is better than meeting every week without considering the schedule and workload of the trainee. As a rep, regional coordinator, member of Mozilla’s largest community (Mozilla India) and as a mentor, I believe a coach must be a good listener, honest, available and approachable and must be willing to share what s/he knows that could benefit the trainee.