~200 emails each month from users who want to write code
Many newcomers have no idea how to get started
Don't know what they can or even want to work on
We mentor new hires and interns - why not community members?
Mentors for individuals won't scale. Let's mentor specific tasks!
Bug mentorship is a contract that says:
We want this problem fixed
The mentor understands how this can be done
The mentor will answer questions, review changes, and make the process as easy as possible
Several teams embraced mentored bugs in Q1. The results?
50 bugs fixed by 15 different contributors
Patches from 7 community members in 10 bugs
14 separate individuals fixing bugs
Oh snap! Turns out there are lots of smart people who can get things done when given the right tools.
It's easy! To mark a bug as mentored,
[mentor=mentor's name] annotation to the bug's whiteboard (eg.
[lang=required programming language] annotation as well (eg.
This makes them appear in the Bugs Ahoy! tool:
These annotations are not magic. A good mentored bug requires:
A clear description of the problem, and steps to reproduce (if applicable)
Links to relevant documentation (eg. if running automated tests, link to the page and even give the full command)
Clear steps that should be taken for the fix - include MXR links!
These tasks are often a new contributor's very first time touching Mozilla code: write accordingly.
Here's a good example of a thorough description.
This is a larger topic than one slide can cover, however if a bug:
Should be fixed
Is not time-sensitive
Has clear steps to reproduce
Is well understood
It's a good candidate for mentoring! It doesn't have to be trivial; there is a hunger for mentored, nontrivial bugs as well.
Please consider whether you would be a good mentor :)
Mentored bugs help everybody - contributors, developers, and you!
Contact me about any of this: jdm (IRC), firstname.lastname@example.org