IETF111: Mentors wanted for IETF Guides Program

Paul Wouters <> Fri, 16 July 2021 19:20 UTC

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Date: Fri, 16 Jul 2021 15:20:34 -0400
From: Paul Wouters <>
Subject: IETF111: Mentors wanted for IETF Guides Program
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Hello WG chairs,

For IETF 111 we are again looking for Guides participants [see below if
you're unfamiliar with the program]. If you're willing to help someone
  come up to speed with the ways of the IETF again, we'd greatly appreciate
  your willingness to volunteer.

If willing, please:

1. create or log into your guides profile:
    (the system will send you a login link once you enter your email address)
2. Set up your profile with information about you
3. Set your arrival date to something like "2021/07/25" to indicate
    you're wiling to participate in IETF 111.

And we'll assign you participants shortly.

Thank you very much,
The IETF Guides Leads

The following is from the IETF Guides FAQ:

What is the IETF Guides Program?

The goal of the IETF Guides Program is to match experienced IETF
participants with newcomers (people who have participated in five or
fewer face-to-face meetings or anyone registering as a student) in order
to aid their integration into the IETF community through advice, help,
and collected wisdom. The assistance provided by the guides should speed
up the time it takes for newcomers to become active, contributing
members of the IETF.

What is an IETF guide?

A guide plays the role of advisor, coach, and teacher. The combination
of roles allows a guide to assist a new IETF participant in developing
the skills needed to participate effectively within the IETF standards
process and the IETF culture.

What skills are needed to be a guide?

The biggest skill needed is a willingness to share your knowledge of the
IETF with a program participant. This can include explaining: 1) the
IETF standards development process, 2) the IETF management structure, 3)
other IETF participants' skill sets, 4) the working group creation
process, 5) technical knowledge, 6) the IETF culture, and 7) how the
IETF communicates both during and between meetings.

How much time will being a guide take?

The amount of time is variable based on an agreement between the guide
and the program participant. It is hoped that the relationship will
extend beyond the interactions during the face-to-face meetings, but the
meetings are used to kick-start the relationship. We value any time you
can contribute to helping newcomers become effective IETF participants.

How does one become an IETF guide?

If you’re willing to act as a guide during an upcoming IETF meeting,
please register at The IETF Guides webpage and fill out the short
questionnaire about what topic areas you participate in, when you’re
arriving, etc. This information is used to make matches with
participants with common interests.

How are matches made between guides and participants?

The IETF Guides program has a few leads that administer the IETF Guides
website and match newcomers with guides just before the start of an IETF
week. The leads work hard to match guides and participants with similar
interests, languages, timezones, etc. (although it is impossible to pair
everyone perfectly).

Is the IETF Guide program restricted to certain kinds of people?

Initially, the program is focused on participants who are newcomers to
the IETF. If the program progresses in a positive direction, we will
explore opening up the program to all participants. Anyone currently
involved in the IETF (and NomCom eligible) is eligible to be a guide.

How are matches made between guides and participants?

A small group of IETF participants have volunteered to act as
coordinators. The coordinators have areas of expertise and will work
with the characteristics identified by the participants to match them
with guides who have similar interests and areas of work.

What makes a good guide?

A successful guide will be flexible, responsive, and willing to take the
initiative to provide assistance. A guide should have the confidence
that they have useful knowledge that will aid a program
participant. Experience in the IETF culture will allow the guide to
recognize areas where newcomers will struggle within the IETF and allow
the guide to pass along constructive information. This is especially key
in the areas of cultural norms and the IETF environment.

What happens after a guide and program participant are matched?

Once a match has been made, the guides system will send mail to both the
guide and the participant.  After that, the interactions are up to
them. Useful interactions will vary based on the needs of the
participant and the skills of the guide. In the event that a guide or
participant is unresponsive or the pair decide that the match is not
constructive (extremely rare!), the leads can be contacted to request a
new pairing by sending mail to Note that some new
participants may be very open to asking for help, while others may be a
bit more wary and timid.  We suggest that after an initial meeting you
reach out to them a few times during the week to check in and see how
things are going with them.