Mentoring for all levels of Drupal Developers

This already exists (community) but it would be cool to formalize it a bit more.

Proteges get a list of issues based on the 'level' they choose. They get a mentor to help them try and solve that issue.

Mentors would volunteer to help new contributors. and choose a 'level' they were willing to support.

Proteges would become active contributors quicker and hopefully become mentors themselves.

By using the mentoring system per issue, Mentors wouldn't get burnt out and proteges wouldn't become too reliant on one person.

I think it is very important to focus on all levels of contributors. Docs, New people, Intermediate programmers etc.


Submitted by

Related *.drupal.org issue/discussion: Mentoring

Stage: Active

Feedback Score

40 votes
Voting Disabled

Idea Details

Vote Activity (latest 20 votes)

  1. Upvoted
  2. Upvoted
  3. Upvoted
  4. Upvoted
  5. Upvoted
  6. Upvoted
  7. Upvoted
  8. Upvoted
  9. Upvoted
  10. Upvoted
  11. Upvoted
  12. Upvoted
  13. Upvoted
  14. Upvoted
  15. Upvoted
  16. Downvoted
  17. Upvoted
  18. Upvoted
  19. Upvoted
  20. Upvoted
(latest 20 votes)


  1. The idea was posted


  1. Comment

    I like this idea a lot! There are plenty of new folks in the Drupal forums asking the same questions. That can be a bit tedious for advanced users, while it's a great way for other beginners to learn more. On the other hand, if an advanced user asks a question, it almost always ends up not being answered as it gets flooded by beginner questions.

    A system that allows posts to get tagged by difficulty and people regularly helping others out in the forums getting some recognition (cause if I'm not mistaken, it's not counted in any kind of Certified to Rock kind of thing) and being able to find the level of questions they want to help out with, would help tremendously.

  2. Comment

    Okay, I started to post that this was great in theory and all but the main limitation is that this requires a lot of time for mentors to come up with these lists of issues... but then I re-read and you seem to want a tool to address actually that. :)

  3. Comment

    I think this would be wonderful. I am most often on the end of receiving help and so often feel guilty about asking questions/submitting support requests because I really don't want to overly bother(or even bother at all) or flog maintainers with dumb questions as I am learning new things. They have enough to do already. Still there are always specific questions you have even after you've read all the docs and watched all the tutorials. I would love to have mentors and also be a mentor in the areas I am proficient at. Right now, for me personally I am really wanting to delve into coding/module development as well as learning compass/sass for my css.

    If people are really doing what they can for learning on their own, I think mentoring would be great. But there is also the concern of people not using already existing resources or taking the time to learn. Maybe mentors could have a "prerequisite" list of learning resources and even exercises that need to be completed first, but the mentor could be there to assist through the process.

    Comments on this comment

    1. Comment

      Wordfallz has the following link in his / her profile:


      It's called "Don't be a help vampire" and is pretty much a guideline for people giving help how to deal with people who don't actually try to learn, and for people who are trying to learn, how to do so in the most efficient way they can. I'd say it'd be a must-read for everybody partaking in the mentor / protege thing. Hell, it's a must-read for anybody helping anybody else out or asking for help.

  4. Comment
    BJ___ ( Idea Submitter )

    @XJM yeah the system should work fairly automatically. At it's core the idea could really just be

    a. A more granular filter system for issues

    b. A way to connect willing mentors and proteges through the issue cue.

    So say you have an issue.

    -The issue gets tagged with the project it comes from (views,solr,theme) etc.

    -Then it could get tagged with the skills required to solve the issue (advanced php, CSS, documentation)

    -Then is gets tagged with a level of difficulty (easy, intermediate, uber)

    Then you have mentors

    -Mentors volunteer to help and tag themselves with the things they know about (modules,skills)

    -They also tag themselves with the level they are willing to support


    -Sort through a list of issues based on level of difficulty and subject

    -Get a list of mentors who are appropriate to help with that issue

    The benefits to this might be

    -Avoids burnout because there are more than one mentor per issue.

    -Better pair people new to Drupal to things they can help with. Focuses on Mentors and Proteges actual knowledge.

    -Could integrate really well with the badge system idea (which is awesome) Everybody gets recognized for their help

    -More issues get solved because people work together on them.

    Comments on this comment

    1. Comment

      Oh, hm, this sounds like a LOT of overhead. =/ Not sure I am still on board.

  5. Comment

    I see that the main focus here is on mentoring through issue queues, which would be awesome. I was wondering if also providing more generic mentoring as well. My above comment was really geared toward this. For instance, I am new to Drupal and I am completely overwhelmed by the number of modules and have no clue where to start. Could we provide mentors who could walk people through things and provide even all the options available to them for a specific functionality(i.e. context,panels,display suite - some, all, or just one), so they are providing support but not necessarily a personal opinion. I would think that it would be tremendously helpful to new users just to have someone point them in the right direction and give them resources(existing video tutorials, etc..) to assist in the learning curve. Also having a mentor would cut on the initial frustration or feeling overwhelmed with Drupal and they could provide the encouragement they need to stick with it. I would think it would also cut down on event the amount of mentoring needed in individual issue queues.

    I know Drupal Dojo/Drupal Kata has been attempting getting this same thing started. I have not checked back on their OA site in quite a while, so I am unsure of the current status. I am fairly certain that this would be a great thing for everyone.

    If I am in anyway taking this off the specific topic of discussion, please let me know. It is not my intention, just wanted to give an additional idea.

  6. Comment


    I totally see your point. My only concern is how this is conveyed. I don't think anyone wants to be called a "help vampire"(Wordfallz, I am not trying to offend and completely understand why this is so important). I think people can do this, and I know I have probably been guilty numerous times over the years without necessarily realizing or even wanting to bother anyone in the first place. I think the point should be conveyed in a positive and encouraging manner that will make people want to read and learn and not be a help vampire, out of respect and appreciation for maintainers and developers. I think having general mentors in all areas and levels would be very helpful to all.

  7. Comment
    BJ___ ( Idea Submitter )

    @xjm Damn ...I should have kept my mouth shut :)

    But seriously would it be that much overhead ? Really just a view with some filters. Adding tags to issues and user profiles.

    Is it those updates that you see as huge overhead ?

    Maybe there is a simpler solution to achieve the same type of thing ?

    Comments on this comment

    1. Comment

      I liked your brainstorm, think it's where all great things start:). And the "Damn I should have kept my mouth shut", is a thought that crosses my mind frequently and has for the past years of working with Drupal and being on the forums doing my best to constantly learn(which more often than not includes asking stupid questions, or taking a step out to comment on something even if I don't have all the answers or knowledge of a developer). But I don't think anyone should feel that way, which is why I think mentoring would be awesome.

      Thanks for the input:)

  8. Comment
    ( Moderator )

    Could you folks start an issue on Drupal.org for this idea? I'd like to see discussion about implementation, etc. on our own infrastructure, not here.

  9. Comment

    I would love that, but am in need your mentoring:). Where would you prefer it posted? Would gdo be a good place or something on the main drupal.org site? If someone else would really like to get it started, just let me know and I will relegate to you.