Re: the old fellowship program, was Wow, we're famous

Marc Petit-Huguenin <> Wed, 14 April 2021 22:23 UTC

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To: John Levine <>,
References: <20210414185927.07A6E72E4243@ary.qy>
From: Marc Petit-Huguenin <>
Subject: Re: the old fellowship program, was Wow, we're famous
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Date: Wed, 14 Apr 2021 15:23:45 -0700
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I am more and more convinced that, instead on counting on some centralized way to attract new people and then get complaints when they do not stay, maybe there is a better way would permit to achieve our goal in a more distributed way.  I do not think that group mentorship for the IETF is working -- I tried at a previous company, and none of the mentorees are still participating, so that's not the way.

But I am thinking that the key could be a mentorship that would extend beyond a meeting week.  That would mean working with a mentoree for a whole publishing cycle, starting by explaining how to read an RFC (people told me that they do not know how to do that), then how to review an I-D (a place where most of the mentoring work should be done, IMO), then upgrading to co-writing an I-D and going through the whole publishing cycle.  I think offering that kind of guidance to a mentoree for a couple years would help more than that any other kind of program.

Now if most of the follicle pigmentation deficient people[1] at the IETF take on a couple of mentorees each two years, I think it could be possible to at the same time create a continuity of tradition and still embrace the energy of newcomers.

In fact I have someone in mind that would be perfect as my first IETF mentoree, so I am going to just do it.

[1] Graybeard.

On 4/14/21 11:59 AM, John Levine wrote:
> It appears that Nico Williams  <> said:
>> Fernando has pointed out repeatedly that ISOC used to have a sponsorship
>> program for participants from economically disadvantaged countries, and
>> that this program has been terminated.
> It wasn't working. The people would come to a meeting but then
> wouldn't write I-Ds or continue to engage with the IETF. In one
> particularly unfortunate case, the person didn't even speak English
> and somehow the selection process missed that. We want to resume it
> with a selection process that finds people who can benefit from IETF
> meetings and are likely to be ongoing IETF contributors.
>> But we _care_ so *so* much!
> Thanks for your thoughtful anaylsis.
> R's,
> John

Marc Petit-Huguenin